Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Power of Gratitude

Here are three simple, proven things you can do today and every day to harness the power of gratitude:

1. Give Somebody Else an Opportunity to Feel Grateful
Start with a give-back to somebody who has given you a reason to feel gratitude in the past, or pay it forward with a stranger. It doesn't have be anything big. Small kindnesses can go a long way to brightening somebody's day, and by brightening theirs and giving them a reason to feel gratitude, you'll brighten your own too.

2. Pause for a Moment to Focus on Your Own Gratitude
Take a few moments to stop during your day and really feel the gratitude for the blessings in your life. Find a spot where you can sit quietly, preferably without being disturbed, for 5 minutes. Take some deep, slow breaths and focus on what's right in your life. You can do this almost anywhere. It really only takes 5 minutes, but you need to do it consistently. Five minutes every day is proven more effective than longer sessions less often.

3. Count Your Blessings, and Write Them Down Too
Count your blessings and not your crosses, the old saying goes. Turns out those are some wise words. It's well-documented that writing down your blessings and seeing that list in black and white will give your spirits a boost. Starting a gratitude journal and every day record three things that make you feel grateful. Don't make it a big deal; just get a tiny notebook, perhaps one that will give you pleasure just from seeing and handling it. You could personalize it by pasting a photo on the cover that makes you happy and reminds you of the good in your life. Keep it somewhere convenient and last thing at night or first thing in the morning, jot down what you felt most grateful for in the past 24 hours. A bonus is that when you're feeling blue, pulling out the journal and reading through it will remind you that things aren't as bleak as they seem at that moment.

We all have access to feelings of gratitude. Practicing giving them, feeling them and counting them daily will help you be happier and healthier, one grateful feeling at a time.

-- Author Unknown

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