Attitude of Gratitude

This time of the year we are directed to look inward and outward, to express thanks for the many blessings in our lives. Communicating appreciation is a worthwhile goal for the entire year, not just at Thanksgiving. The popularity of keeping a gratitude journal is evidenced by the increased sales of blank journal books and computer flash drives to keep the writings personal and private.
What does it mean to be grateful?
Gratitude is saying thanks for everything that is important to you and good in your life. Besides expressing thankfulness for a gift, be thankful to be able to watch a sunset, to be able to smile today, and even to be able to be able to express gratitude. Life and your experiences are a gift.
Gratitude is linked to well-being. Studies suggest that people who practice gratitude appear to be more optimistic, pleased with their lives, more healthy, and better connected to others, when compared to those who emphasize daily hassles or on everyday events.
Gratitude may help decrease anger. When thinking about how someone has wronged you, shift that thinking to someone else who has been there to support you.
Gratitude may also be linked to resilience, which is having an “inner strength” that helps you bounce back after stressful situations. Optimism and a connection with others are often found in people who are resilient.
• At the end of each day think about and write about, what you are grateful for that day. Think about people, events, and experiences that had a positive impact on you. **
• Call or email someone just to say “thanks.”
• Write a letter of gratitude and appreciation to someone. You don’t have to mail it.
• Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about something a stranger did for you. Say “thank you” to people you don’t know, such as waving when a person lets your car cut in during heavy traffic.
• When feeling burdened by your health, give thanks for the abilities you still have. Express gratitude for breathing.
• Find a creative way to give thanks. Plant a garden of gratitude or take pictures of things for which you are grateful.
**Take the 21 day gratitude challenge:
Every evening write down 3 feelings of gratitude from the past 24 hours. Each one must be new—not a repeat of any other day. Be specific in saying “I am grateful for……. (then add) because……”
Example: “I am grateful for the ease with which the new kitchen faucet was installed. I will not have the stress of borrowing money to replace the entire sink.”
“When the Doctor told me the tests were negative, I felt grateful for the relief from worrying about the what if’s.”
After 21 consistent days, notice how your happiness battery has been charged with a new awareness of choosing daily gratitude.
Thank you for expressing your gratitude.

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