Thursday, November 4, 2010

Recognition of Gratitude

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."
-Melody Beattie

Developing gratitude toward the people, things and events in your life is a life-affirming and effective way to strengthen yourself emotionally. Maintaining a gratitude journal makes it easy to get in the habit of focusing on the positives in your life rather than the negatives. A gratitude journal is a useful tool for stress reduction, because the positives in your life are right there in front of you- in writing. They are tangible.

Start by listing three things you are thankful for. They can be as simple as, “I’m thankful I woke up this morning.” or “My first cup of coffee was perfect this morning.” Remember, little things do count. Start with the basics: my health, my job, my family, my home, my pets. As you continue and get into the habit of picking three things, you will notice they will deepen in meaning. They will shift perspective for you. You will be delighted in how hopeful you are feeling. As you focus on the good things you have, you will create a space where good things will be drawn to you-this is the Law of Abundance.It’s an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more you will be given.

It doesn’t matter what time of day you write in your journal because things that happen that you are grateful for after the days’ entry is made can be made the next day (you’ll still be grateful, won’t you?) If you prefer, you can make a note at the bottom of your entry as an addendum. Try to branch out with what you’re gratitude covers, especially if you find yourself writing the same three tings over and over; you may wish to expand the list to five. Challenge yourself to noticing new or subtle things,” The hand lotion I just bought reminds me of roses, and I love roses!” When you've mastered the gratitude part of the journal, you can add other things which will broaden your spiritual practice, like the names of people to pray for, or wishes, or whatever you like. The idea is to make yourself happy, to be found in a moment of contentment.

Reading back over entries occasionally is a great way to put things into perspective and at the same time it’s a great pick me up. Checking back on the positives in your life will also help to control depression. It will make you more optimistic. It’s comforting to know that there has been something to be grateful for in those times when you’ve been down, and seeing that in writing will immediately lift your spirits.


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