GRATITUDE – a choice, a practice, an attitude

“In order to achieve contentment, one should cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.”  This was said by Ralph Waldo Emerson – and it couldn’t be more true.

Stop for a moment and think about something that makes you happy, something that comforts you. Now imagine it gets taken away from you. Scary isn’t it? I like to stop and think about things that I love and can’t live without. It just takes a moment of awareness to feel the good that it brings. We should make it a habit to do this. The results are amazing.

 

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Listed below, are five things that I am grateful for -the list could go on, but here’s just a few that came to mind…

F I V E T H I N G S I’ M G R A T E F U L F O R:

BOOKS – I don’t know what I would do without my books. They’re the greatest escape. My self-help books are my favorite because they have helped me tremendously. From love and relationships – to mental health. When you don’t want to talk to a therapist, or you don’t have the money, books are a great alternative. And the best part is you can go at your own pace.

MEMORIES – It’s amazing how much we can store in our minds. The fact that we can carry these experiences in our minds and then play them over and over. Of course there are memories we want to block out, but we actually benefit from those memories because we learn from them.

ANIMALS – What would we do without our pets…They’re the one thing you can count on to comfort you when you need it. It’s been proven that pet ownership is beneficial to your overall health, physically and mentally. They can improve your socialization skills and even decrease the risk of heart attack.

CELL PHONES – Can you imagine not having a cell phone?  When we’re stuck somewhere and bored out of our minds, they help pass the time. The fact that we can communicate with family and friends anytime, anywhere. And how many times have they come to the rescue? I couldn’t be more grateful for these little devices. Thank you, Martin Cooper.

HARD TIMES – Yep, I said it. If it weren’t for those difficult times, how would we know happiness? Hard times can enlighten us. They teach us and make us stronger. No matter how long it takes, you have to have faith that you’ll get through those times. Remember, lessons turn into blessings. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

Too often people forget that there’s always someone who has it worse. The fact that you can read this now is just another reason to be grateful.

To sum it up, practicing gratitude makes us nicer and  more appreciative. It also makes us more social, which in turn allows us to make more friends and deepen our current relationships.

The chart below illustrates a list of benefits resulting from practicing gratitude. – Credits to Happier Human (http://happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/) for this chart.

 

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According to David Steindl-Rast, grateful living practices have three simple steps:

“STOP – Become present, awake, aware, receptive

LOOK – Notice, observe, consider, have a direct experience

GO – Acknowledge, take action, do something with the opportunity and awareness which gratefulness serves you.”

 

What freedoms do you sometimes take for granted?

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