by Dorothy M Rowatt, (in collaboration with 'clair communications')
The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been with us for years. Many studies support the effectiveness of gratitude, which suggests that a positive, appreciative attitude can greatly contribute to success in business; enhanced health and well-being (often resulting in a faster recovery rate after surgery); as well as a heightened performance in sports.
While we may acknowledge the many benefits of gratitude, it may, however, prove difficult to sustain an attitude of being grateful. Many of us have been trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. Therefore, for gratitude to meet its full healing potential, it needs to become more than just a few words on Thanksgiving Day. We really have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit - and that, without doubt, can take some time.
That’s why practicing gratitude on a continual basis makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.
Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach, in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.
There are many things to be grateful for: colourful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, warm clothing in the winter, the ability to read, fresh flowers, butterflies, our health. What’s on your list?
Some Ways to Practice Gratitude :
• Keep a gratitude journal in which you can list things you are thankful for.
• Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
• Have thoughts of gratitude before falling asleep, and always try to find the hidden blessings in a challenging situation.
• When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
• Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Try to write about it, sing about it and always express 'thanks' for gratitude.
As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how contented and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.
Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications