The Truth About Gratitude

There is no better time to start being more grateful than the week of Thanksgiving.
 Let this time be more than turkeys and family football games because there is increasing research on the nature of gratitude, its causes, and its potential impact for health and mental/emotional well being.
Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.
* Stronger immune systems
* Less bothered by aches and pains* Lower blood pressure
* Exercise more
* Sleep longer and feel more refreshed
* Higher levels of positive emotions
* More alert, alive, and awake
* More joy and pleasure
* More optimism and happiness
* More helpful, generous, and compassionate
* More forgiving
* More outgoing
* Feel less lonely and isolated
Intentionally choose to be thankful.
Gratitude will never be a result of y
our next purchase, success, or accomplishment. It is available in your heart right now.
Count your blessings.
We all have things we can be grateful for.  These might include a loving spouse, a roof over our head, a job we love, a special friend, or a box of chocolates. Gratitude quickly sets in when we begin to spend a quiet moment each day remembering them.
Stop focusing on what you don’t have.
Too many people never realize gratitude because they spend so much mental energy focused on what they don’t have.  Comparing and contrasting your life is a bad habit to get into.
Embrace humility.
Humility is an essential ingredient in gratitude. A humble heart finds satisfaction in the gifts it already possesses and demands less from others and life.
Be aware of people in need.
Almost half the world lives on less than $2.50 a day.  Over 1 billion people have inadequate access to clean water and 2.6-billion lack basic sanitation. Ben Stein, writer, actor and economist, wrote an article in the American Spectator on gratitude. He points out the difference between being rich and feeling rich.  He wrote, “Gratitude is wealth. Gratitude for what you have right now. Gratitude especially for what you have now that so many people would die to possess.”
Find gratitude in what you can give.
It is easy to be grateful when things are going well. It can be more difficult during the trials of life: death, disease, rejection, or failure. The truth is that no one is exempt from the heartaches of life, but good can always be found in even the worst of times.  Mother Teresa often talked about how grateful she was to the people she was helping, the sick and dying in the slums of Calcutta.  They
enabled her to grow and deepen her spirituality. She demonstrated gratitude for what she could give as opposed to what she received.
Keep a gratitude journal.
List just five things for which you’re grateful for every day. Healthy kids, a job, a warm blanket, or a spectacular sunset are just some examples.  This exercise helps guard against taking things for granted and helps you keep the focus on all the goodness in your life.

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Happy Thanksgiving