Gratitude: A Gift to Give and Receive
By Melonie Dodaro
Yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn’t here…so all we have is today and that is why it’s called the present!
How grateful are you for your present…for today and everyday of your life?
For centuries, there’ve been many, many quotes and writings about gratitude and living in gratitude.
Melodie Beattiewrote: Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, and confusion into clarity… It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Wikipedia explains gratitude: Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships. A large body of recent work has suggested that people who are more grateful have higher levels of well-being. Grateful people also have higher levels of control of their environments, personal growth, purpose in life, and self-acceptance. This was said in wikipedia about gratitude: Grateful people have more positive ways of coping with the difficulties they experience in life, being more likely to seek support from other people, reinterpret and grow from the experience, and spend more time planning how to deal with the problem. Grateful people also have less negative coping strategies, being less likely to try and avoid the problem, deny there is a problem, blame themselves, or cope through substance use. Grateful people sleep better, and this seems to be because they think less negative and more positive thoughts just before going to sleep.
By the sounds of that definition, being grateful—having an attitude of gratitude and acknowledging all the blessings we have—is a healthy way to live life!
How do you go about expressing gratitude in your daily life?
Being grateful for what you already have in your life is an excellent place to start. Gratitude isn’t about waiting for a big event like winning the lottery, nor is it about the new car or new whatever. It can be something that may seem insignificant at first. For example, perhaps you went to get a coffee this morning and the person who served you was so pleasant and helpful that you felt good and left smiling. We know that could have been a different experience if the server had been grumpy…so that counts as something for which to be grateful.
The desire to have more in your life isn’t a bad thing; it’s what keeps us moving forward to accomplish our desires and goals. When trying to get more becomes your focus, however, you can run intro trouble…since more doesn’t always mean happiness or a full life. Being grateful for all the things you already have in life is the key to living in gratitude.
Some people like to begin the morning by making a list of the things for which they are grateful. It may be their health and wellness, it may be the love they share or abundance of finances, or perhaps it’s their grand home or the motor home that takes them on many adventures! By seeking to find all the positive pieces in your life, you begin the day with a positive attitude. What a wonderful way to get started!
There are some who prefer to give thanks for their blessings at the end of the day, just before drifting off to sleep, by reflecting on a wonderful day and the many things for which to be grateful. It could be the nice person who served the coffee, not running out of gas, being acknowledged for a job well done, having the finances to pay for a car repair, or simply being grateful for their comfortable bed. Gratitude comes in many shapes and sizes, but it always makes you feel good.
A “Gratitude Journal” is an awesome way to keep track of the things you are grateful for in your life. There are different journals on the market, some very elaborate and others simple, but the important thing is to start one! Like anything in your life that you wish to change, it takes practice and repetition. It’s said that it takes 21 days to change a habit or create a new one. Gratitude journaling is definitely a good habit to start!
To develop a gratitude list, simply write down all the events, things and people for which you are thankful. Expressing gratitude and appreciation for people in your life brings joy to both of you. A great practice is to find new things everyday for one week to be grateful for and then continue with new things the next week and so on. Living in gratitude will soon become a habit, a part of your daily routine; you may even find yourself expressing gratitude for getting all the green lights as you drive down a street!
Gratitude can be expressed in many ways: giving a gift or flowers, sending an email, making a phone call, being available to help a friend, or simply by showing up and being present when listening, being in the moment…in the “present.” One of the best and easiest ways to express gratitude is by saying thank you and giving a hug!
Meditation is a wonderful way to relax your mind and body and it can bring you to a wonderful place of gratitude. For a free mini-meditation for achieving your ideal weight, visit www.MindBodyFX.com to listen to it. The meditation focuses on being grateful for the body you have and supports you on your journey of losing weight and letting go of old beliefs that no longer serve you or the new idea of you.
About the Author
Melonie Dodaro is a weight loss expert, author and speaker. Her approach to weight loss incorporates showing people how to master their mind-body connection for lasting results. To learn more tips and techniques like the ones included in this article please click here: www.MindBodyFX.com.