by Jack Cox
It is so important to be grateful for all the things we have and for all the things we receive. That way the Universe, God, God & Goddess, our own Higher Self, or whatever you want to say will bring us more. Developing an attitude of gratitude is a very powerful habit to get into. High levels of happiness and success often result from the regular practice of being grateful and thankful. It has been known for thousands of years that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success, better health, and peak performance in sports. People even report healing more quickly from injuries.
The problem is that since birth we have been programmed to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. We moan and complain about everything from the government to the weather. Jack Canfield famously said that to be successful, first we must resign from the ‘ain't it awful club’. If we are to use gratitude successfully in our lives, first we are going to have to cultivate new, more resourceful, ways of looking at the world. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity rather than a challenge.
Please don't get the idea that gratitude is just some blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of what things we choose to focus on and where we place our attention. Pain, suffering and injustice will still exist in this world but do we really need to wallow in it? Wouldn't it be better to concentrate on the good things and give gratitude a chance to give us hope?
We all have so many things to be thankful for. It's the little things in life that often bring the most joy, things like colourful autumn leaves, good friends, sunsets and chocolate. Be grateful that you have a roof over your head and food in your stomach. Many people lack the things we so often take for granted.
Some Ways to Practice Gratitude
• Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
• Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
• Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.
• Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
• When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.
• Notice how gratitude is improving your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.
When I worked as a life coach several years ago, before I retired, I always used to ask my clients to write out a full list of all the things they have to be grateful for and to read it out allowed twice a day. One of my clients responded by sending me this: "That's right Jack, gratitude is so important. Just think of the birds, they thank the Universe with a beautiful chorus each morning and thereby attract the food they eat throughout the day." What a wonderful idea!
We need to be thankful for everything. Don't neglect the simple things most people take for granted. My own personal gratitude list includes he following: "I am so grateful and happy for this brand new day full of opportunities. I am so grateful and happy that I always have enough healthy food to eat. I am so grateful and happy that I always have enough clean water to drink. I am so grateful and happy that I always have clean air to breathe. I am so grateful and happy that I always have shelter from the elements whenever I choose to use it. I am so grateful and happy that my life is always calm, quiet and peaceful. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Its a good idea to go through your home with a pen a paper, writing down all the material things you own, remember to include your car if you have one and anything at all that you may have. Then think of all the other blessings you have that are not possessions, the people who help you and enrich your life, and your health etc.
So like those birds, lets start each day by singing or reciting a beautiful chorus of all the things we have to be grateful for. What an inspiring way to start each day.
Once you have changed, expect a miracle.
If you want to thank me for all the free information I share on this website please press the Gratitude Button. Thank you.
What do you do to maintain an attitude of gratitude as you go about your day? And what are you most grateful for? Please do share your tips and experiences with our community. Feel free to ask any questions too.