Using the Power of Gratitude

The practice of expressing gratitude as an effective tool for happiness has been acknowledged and used for many years. 

Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness,
suggesting that simply having a positive and appreciative outlook on life contributes to the individuals success in many areas of life ranging from relationships and
health to their performance at work and in competition.

Adopting an attitude of gratitude has been found to promote a greater sense of wellbeing and even more
impressively a faster rate of recovery from illness and even surgery.

However even though the benefits of adopting a positive mindset are undeniable the stresses of everyday life can make sustaining it difficult to say the least.

As a society we often are taught to focus on what is broken, or lacking in our lives.

From our early lives in school right through our adult lives at work we are continually tested assessed and given a score of some kind. When reviewed by managers the
focus is most often on how we can improve so again our attention is focused on whats missing or needs to be fixed.
 
Advertisers often take advantage of this persuading us to buy goods on the premise that our lives are somehow incomplete or below par if we don’t possess the latest car, lipstick or designer phone. 

However for gratitude to achieve its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a word. We must adopt a whole new way of connecting with our surroundings, a completely new perspective, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude is so powerful and so logical. When we practice giving thanks for what
we have our focus shifts to the positive aspects of our lives. Instead of complaining about what we don’t have we give ourselves permission to see life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that developing the practice of gratitude doesn’t mean you need to be blindly optimistic and whitewash or pretend the more difficult or painful aspects of life don’t exist.  It’s more a matter of
where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts in our life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are so many things to be grateful for: sunshine ,a healthy body ,friends who care about you ,your family, peanut butter cupcakes , the ability to sing, read ,dance,
rainbows, butterflies, perfume, freshly baked bread to name but a few of my personal favourites. What’s on your list?

Tips on How to Practice Gratitude 

  Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for
creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.

 Make a gratitude vision-board by pasting pictures which represent all the aspects of your life you are grateful for.

 Practice gratitude each day and make it part of your routine for example in the morning as you breakfast or at bedtime before you go off to sleep. Just count back over the things in your day that you are grateful no matter how small, a friendly smile,catching your bus on time , getting the last crayfish sandwich in the store or maybe getting a call from a good friend .

Challenge yourself to find the hidden blessing in any challenging situations you find
yourself facing. Make a game of it .It will really help you bounce back .
Every time you want to have a good old moan stop and make a gratitude list instead. You will
be surprised how much better you’ll feel.
 
Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, acknowledge it , sing about
it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you will notice that you feel more at peace, more content and more hopeful.

As with any practice or new habit it will take a little while, but stick with it  and after a short time an attitude of gratitude will be your default setting !

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