By Jill Hope
Although the Thanksgiving holiday is now behind us, the experience of the holiday reminded me of the importance of gratitude. Gratitude isn’t just an attitude, it is a state of being.
When you are focused on the things for which you are grateful, your energetic vibration rises, and it is here that you are better able to attract more of what you want into your life.
Focusing on the good in your life also keeps your mind off the things that aren’t so good or that are lacking. When you continually focus on what you lack, you bring more lack into your life. And the reality is, most of us have practiced living in lack a lot more than we have practiced living in gratitude.
While it is pretty easy to feel grateful when things are going well, it is a bit more challenging to remain there when things aren’t so great. Many of us feel a great deal of lack in our lives, and our thoughts have practiced the habit of focusing there.
How can you bring the focus on what IS working in your life, rather than on what isn’t?
1) Write in a gratitude journal.
Keeping a daily gratitude journal is a powerful way of tracking all of the good in your life. In fact, in a research study cited in Robert A. Emmon’s book “Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier”, it was found that people who kept a gratitude journal exercised more regularly, reported fewer illness symptoms and recovered more quickly from illness, felt more optimistic about the future, and coped more effectively with everyday stress.
2) Perform behaviors associated with gratitude.
There is a great deal of psychological evidence showing that attitude change often
follows behavior change. If you want to create an attitude of gratitude, make it a point to perform grateful behaviors every day.
Here’s an idea: Make a commitment to thank 3 people every day this week. You can thank someone for their warm smile, you can thank someone for holding the door for you, you can even thank someone for just being in your life Be creative with your thank yous, and do make sure that they come from your heart. People can see right through an insincere expression of thanks.
3) Make it a habit to look for the good, even in a bad situation.
As I mentioned previously, it’s a whole lot easier to find things to feel grateful for when things are going well. But what about when your world seems inside out? I challenge you to look for the good, even when things nothing seems to be going right. Because, when you look for the good, I guarantee you will be shown the good.
When I came down with a nasty cold during my vacation last week, I held a grateful perspective on it. I didn’t ask, why me, or why now. Instead, I felt gratitude that it happened now and not when I was scheduled to teach or coach or be at an event. When you look for the good in any situation, it will always present itself. And seeing the good brings more good to see!
See how you can make finding the good a habit in your life this, rather than focusing on the bad. And please share your thoughts right here on how you cultivate an attitude of gratitude in your home.
“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies;
but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and,
as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour,
some heavenly blessings!”
~Henry Ward Beecher