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Gratitude: how thankfulness can turbo-charge your life.

Gratitude: How Thankfulness Can Turbo-charge Your Life.

Gratitude is a magic tonic that can makes us feel great whenever we practice it.  This article explains how being thankful can radically change your life.  It also suggests an exercise and a daily reflection to develop a general Attitude of Gratitude.

Developing attitude of gratitude is so simple and uncomplicated it is often overlooked as a therapeutic tool by the mental health profession. This is despite conclusive scientific evidence that validates a wide range of lifechanging positive effects.  However …..

Gratitude is deeper than just saying thanks

Before we go further though I want to be clear about what is meant by an Attitude of Gratitude; it goes a little deeper than feeling thankful when someone opens the door for us.  Robert Emmons, a leading scientific authority on the subject, argues that gratitude is 1) an affirmation that there is goodness in the world of which we are beneficiaries and 2) that we recognize that the source of this goodness is outside of ourselves. To sum it up in plane words, an Attitude of Gratitude is an acknowledgement that good stuff happens in our lives from an outside source.  The key word here is “acknowledgement”.  Gratitude is about recognizing and acknowledging the good stuff that comes to us from outside of ourselves.

Gratitude: A channel to a higher power

Some have gone as far as to describe Gratitude as a channel to a caring higher power.  The authors of the book “Tools”, Phil Stutz and Barry Michels (both practicing psychologists), suggest that this is exactly what happens when we cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude; we channel a higher power into our lives that is loving and healing. They describe how their clients have overcome crushing emotional dysfunctions by using gratitude as a means of healing.

Gratitude: the key to abundance

Likewise, the author of the popular book, “The Secret”, describes how gratitude is a crucial component to creating abundance.  The book gives examples of people who have drastically changed their lives by simply practicing an attitude of gratitude.

In fact, if you examine the lives of people who truly stand out as well-rounded beings who are admired and loved, have made significant contributions to the world whilst maintaining a rich and satisfying private life almost always demonstrate qualities of grace, generosity and gratitude.

In coming blogs we will explore the Attitude of Gratitude further and provide some ways to help develop it; starting with the following Exercise and Daily Focus

Gratitude exercise # 1

How to generate a feeling of gratitude

This exercise is simple but effective. However, the more feeling you can generate the bigger the warm glow you will be left with. What you are doing here is helping set up and train new neural pathways that will generate a feeling of Gratitude that runs on automatic piolet.

  1. Place a blank piece of paper and a pen in front of you.
  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths as you do at the beginning of each of these sessions.
  3. Rate your emotional status on a scale of 1 to 10 were one is totally dismal and 10 is weeping with happiness.
  4. Open your eyes and jot down at 10 things you have to be thankful for – this is a case where more is better. They can be anything: the clothes on your back, your arms, your or legs, your eyes, your bed, your clothes, your house, your pet, your friends, fresh air, the clouds, blue sky – anything that you would miss if it wasn’t there – toothbrush, coffee, chocolates, romantic movies – whatever.
  5. Now for each of the items forcefully assert “I feel so thankful for ______________”or “ I am so grateful that ___________ “ or just  “Thank you for _________________” .  With this exercise it helps to say it out loud if you can.  If you are not in an appropriate space to do that then shout the thankyous it in your head.
  6. Now rate how you feel on the 1 to 10 scale and note any differences between when you started the exercise and when you finished it.

Daily focus

As you go through your day begin to notice all the things you have to be thankful for.

Build up a mental inventory of things in your life that you would miss if they weren’t there – even prosaic things like toilet paper or soap or paving slabs.

You will find that as you focus on things that you can be thankful for your day will turn into a smile.

Post Series: The gratitude blogs
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