The gift 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

Gratitude is a gift that helps us begin to notice the little things we take for granted every day. It gives us the opportunity to be grateful for the simple and overlooked. A warm shower becomes a blessed rain, a cozy blanket feels like a comforting hug, a smile becomes a connection. Gratitude makes us awaken to the true need we have within to be aware of all things. To begin to see beauty in the smallest of places, to listen when the winds blow, to take the time to walk with a child, to truly feel a sense of gifts found in all things. It is the mere truths that push us from being petty within our thoughts and actions. Gratitude is a reminder of what is important in our lives. It helps us overcome the trap of selfishness and moves us to the vision of what life blesses us with.

When someone sits down to write or reflect those things they are grateful for, it is impossible to dwell on the negative because the focus is on the good things within their life. Gratitude helps us unlock the little things that make a difference. Give thanks in every breath you take, every loving kiss, every memory you can make, every morning you awake. Give thanks. It truly is the little things that make life beautiful.

What five little things can you write about today?

 Gratitude makes your life better…it is a fact!! If you took the challenge of writing down five things a day you were grateful for within ten weeks you would be 25% happier. Do you believe it? Try it!According to a study done by Robert Emmons and Mike McCullough (from the University of Miami)… At the end of the 10 weeks, participants who’d kept a gratitude journal felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the future than participants in either of the other two conditions (negative group and a neutral group). To put it into numbers, according to the scale we used to calculate well-being, they were a full 25 percent happier than the other partici- pants. The study also noted those in the gratitude condition reported fewer health complaints, exercised more, and also got a better nights sleep. -Greater Good, Pay it Forward, Robert A. Emmons


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