practicing gratitude

The power of gratitude

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been promoted for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

While we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us habitually notice only what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives; and for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit.

 

Practicing gratitude

That’s why practicing gratitude 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.

Gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach to life where 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, and strength to be able to help others where we can. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, children, warm jackets, feijoas, the ability to read, Piwakawakas, our health, community spirit, rich cultural diversity.

 

What’s on your gratitude list? 

Spend some time each day to notice how gratitude, and being grateful for what you have, is impacting your life.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you might be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

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