The Strength In An Attitude 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.”
- Melody Beattie
There is a super power that we all possess. That superpower can be realized by continually cultivating an “Attitude of Gratitude.”
We were all raised to celebrate on one particular day each year to acknowledge the many blessing we have received. I would encourage you to establish the habit of honoring Thanksgiving every day. There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs when you are in a state of gratitude. That phenomenon is the inability to feel anger or fear while you are feeling grateful. Your brain is made to be continually on the lookout for threats. It is unlikely you have gone an entire day without dealing with a sense of threat whether you are aware of it or not. When you are feeling gratitude, it is not possible to feel fear or anger. Try it for yourself if you doubt that.
What is the Superpower?
The superpower that is released is the ability to be in the present moment. When you are in that state, you are grateful for something right here, right now. When you take notice of that feeling you will experience a greater connection with your body. Some would call it a “warm feeling inside.” You are changing the chemical makeup of your body and brain. Your brain increases the levels of Dopamine, Serotonin, Endorphins and Oxytocin. All four of these neurochemicals have a significant impact on your overall wellbeing. Some would say that being present isn’t really a superpower. I beg to differ. How much time during the “normal” course of your day do you spend in the present moment? If you're honest with yourself, it would be a small amount of time.
How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
Two things you should start doing in order to establish continual gratitude as a habit. The first thing to do is to start writing a daily gratitude journal. Make writing in your journal one of the first things you do after you wake up. Each morning write down three things that you're grateful for. It can be anything it is your journal. Then in the evening write down three things that happened to you today that you are grateful for. If you want to make a bigger impression on your mind write down three “bad” things that happened and why you are thankful that they occurred or what lesson you may have learned. Another practice that will make a strong impression is when faced with a perceived unpleasant situation and your thoughts turn negative stop and write down ten positive things that will come from that situation.
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Until Next Week,
Rich Decker – Mindful Accord