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Gratitude Unlocks the Fullness of Life |

Gratitude Unlocks the Fullness of Life

Thanksgiving is the natural time to reflect on all the things that we are grateful for in our lives. However, it would benefit us greatly to experience gratitude on a daily basis instead of just thinking about it once a year.

Studies have shown that an “attitude of gratitude” has wide-ranging psychological and health benefits. Gratitude elicits positive emotions such as joy, contentment, hope and happiness, which in turn provides direct physical benefits by boosting the body’s immune and endocrine systems. Additionally, when we recognize and appreciate the good in our lives, we are certain to create more of it because whatever we focus on expands into our life experience.

 

Here are some benefits of gratitude:

 

Reaching your goals: When you feel grateful, it tends to be a lasting and selfless feeling. It’s much more than just a momentary burst of positive energy; it has staying power that will provide a great boost for you to reach your goals.

 

Showing gratitude is a two way street. Learn how to effectively express your
gratitude and, just as importantly, to receive it as well.

 

Strengthened relationships: There are many ways you can express your gratitude to your loved ones, including saying, “Thank you,” writing a letter, or giving them a thoughtful gift. When you learn to avoid taking your loved ones for granted, you’ll have a long lasting and loving relationship.

 

When you express your gratitude to others, ensure that you’re open and expressive. People don’t know what you’re thinking; hearing it can make all the difference.

 

Improved communication: Gratitude can mean better communication all around. By expressing your gratitude to strangers, they’ll be more likely to show an interest in helping you, too.

 

Gratitude is such a powerful entity that it can even help you communicate with your pets! They should be appreciated too.

 

Effective and constructive criticism: No matter how we express constructive criticism, it often makes the recipient defensive or even angry. No one likes a blow to the ego. In this situation, a grateful attitude can take you a long way. You can express criticism quite effectively when you also emphasize what you appreciate about them.

 

Gratitude Journal

 

One of the best ways to emphasize the positive aspects of your life is to start a gratitude journal. Get yourself a notebook or journal and start by writing five to ten things that you are grateful for. You can add entries each day or at least each week as you think of them. Keep the journal near your nightstand and read your entries before you go to bed at night. This is a much better way to end the day rather than watching all the horror stories on the evening news. By participating in this activity on a routine basis, your focus will shift. You will begin to look for and identify more and more things that you are grateful for, and you will want to enter them into your journal. Your entries don’t have to be spectacular or life altering events; they can be as simple as “I am so grateful to have a warm bed to sleep in at night” or “I am grateful for my friends who love me.”

 

As you practice reflecting on what is good in your life, you will appreciate yourself and your life more fully each day. Although you still have many goals and dreams you want to pursue, you can accept and appreciate where you are in your life right now. You will never be finished and you will never get it done, so focusing on what you love about your life right now will bring you joy!

 

“We can walk this earth in one of two ways – taking it for granted or taking it with gratitude.”
~ Rev. Mark F. Phillips

 

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
~ Melody Beattie

 

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