THE POWER OF GRATITUDE
Sipping my delicious coffee on my patio deck, I gaze up at the beautiful December sky filled with colors of orange, gold, and purples. I whisper two magical words, “Thank you!” I have been practicing gratitude as a way of life for over ten years. It is hard to believe that I lived many years without gratitude in some way every day.
Don’t get me wrong, we can get caught up in the fast paced rush of life, and forget to practice gratitude. Over a period of time, the magic disappears. I can get cranky, irritable, and off-course. On a daily basis I can monitor my thoughts and if I find that I am feeling not as happy, I can increase my practice of gratitude. One simple way to do this, is when I wake up in the morning, I jot down simple things I am grateful for in my “Gratitude Journal.” Gratitude journaling works because it changes the way we perceive people and situations by adjusting what we focus on. While you may always be grateful for your great job, just writing “I’m grateful for my job” day after day doesn’t keep your brain on alert for sweet new moments of thankfulness. You can always get more specific by writing; “Today my husband gave me a back rub when he knew I was sore from working out.” Or “I received a text from an old friend saying they loved me.”
Practicing an “attitude of gratitude” has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and kinder behavior towards others including our romantic partners. Doesn’t that sound enticing? So, where do you start? The easiest way to start practicing gratitude is to keep it simple. Keep a gratitude journal and list five things for which you feel grateful – just one sentence for each of the five things, done once a week. As you get into the feel and feeling more comfortable, you can increase to every two to three days.
Once you learn to count your blessings, the magic begins. Take gratitude with you where ever you go. Say the magic words, “Thank you.” Say them in your mind, say them in your heart, and whisper them before you fall asleep at night. To have a magical life filled with happiness, the answer is within you; it is inside your heart. You only need to say thank you.
I am grateful for you all. Be happy and peaceful, full of love and gratitude where ever you are.