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The Gift of Gratitude

1. the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful: He expressed his gratitude to everyone on the staff.

Having a daily practice of jotting down 1 to 3 people, items and experiences for which I am grateful has created a more positive environment.

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” 
― Eckhart TolleA New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

Gratitude is getting a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology: Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy. – Psychology Today

Research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, shows that simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.

Before I started my “gift of gratitude” I found myself in a negative mindset, critical of others and would phrase my thoughts in a negative manner.  I realized I was making a negative impact on all those around me – my boys, husband, family and colleagues.  I decided I needed to do something to cultivate positivity where it was missing.  It was like I used it up during the day working so the ones closest to me didn’t get any of it!

journalingDuring the months of July and August, I was very committed to listing out those items, people or experiences I was most grateful in detail. Once September started, I didn’t make my gratitude practice a priority and I can see the difference!  I believe in the practice and it can make a huge impact on your while life – personal and professional.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I urge you to consider a gratitude journal, I keep my journal on my bedside table and jot down 3 specifics each night.  If I miss a night, I try to update my journal as soon as I wake up.  If I miss a few days, I will add more than 3. If 3 is intimidating, try 1.  Just 1.  It will make a difference. I also recommend taking time to download an audio book about gratitude, thankfulness or power of positive thinking. I like the practice of actually writing down my items, however, if you would like to keep a digital journal, go for it!

Steps to Start:journal
1. Get a Journal
2. Keep it in sight
3. Start simple
4. Details, don’t just write down “Mom” – detail why or what she did.
5. Consider your items during the day and you will find more than your goal!

I wish for you an optimistic outlook, that you may have the understanding of how abundant your situation is and have fierce hope for the future.  Hope is contagious and being mindful about your gratitude naturally creates it. I have found there are some nights where I can’t decide and you know why? It’s because I am actually cataloging my day and the great things.  I am not looking for the negatives.  It’s a game changer!

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart,
it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” 
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

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