Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Here's to a little gratitude!!

Sometime last November I read an article in the Huffington Post about the importance of teaching gratitude to children.  I often think about this concept and wish to share a few thoughts as the Thanksgiving Holiday approaches. 

The article referenced above teaches us that those who are able to express gratitude for what they have, seem to possess a much more positive outlook on life.   In a recent article in Prevention Magazine author Jennifer King Lindley connects the positive affects of gratitude with the benefits of long term health.  She terms it Vitamin G.  This mindset can then be carried into one's daily life to think and work better.  

According to a study at Berkeley University  in November 2010 

Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present. It magnifies positive emotions. Research on emotion shows that positive emotions wear off quickly. ... We spend so much time watching things—movies, computer screens, sports—but with gratitude we become greater participants in our lives as opposed to spectators.

I read Eckart Tolle's book, The Power of Now about 15 years ago and it had a huge impact on me.  Back then, the concept of mindfulness training was relatively new.  At the time I was pretty wound up and definitely high strung.   As I read, I began incorporating concepts of the book into dealing with a difficult family situation.   I found this helped ease much of my stress and as a result I learned how to shift my attitude to become better focused in the present. 

For those who embrace yoga, often, part of the routine includes taking a moment to give thanks for the opportunity to practice.  At the conclusion of class, my instructor always suggests "taking this wonderful yoga feeling into the rest of the day."  The feeling of gratitude is incorporated into this practice.  It allows me a time to cleanse my thoughts and kick start a positive framework to begin each new day.  Even if you don't do yoga, little things like taking a walk or meditating for a few minutes allow positive thoughts of gratitude to flow through your head to create a much better mindset.   For some it is a great idea to keep a journal of things you around you that create positivity.  This creates a framework for expressing gratitude.  

Yesterday I was hit with this theme again when I saw this months cover on The Oprah Magazine titled "How Gratitude Shifts Your Attitude".    I believe that we would be much happier as a country if we all looked for the positive in our lives.  Those who dwell in the past often hold anger and need to let it go.  This negativity can be damaging and inhibit one's ability to focus on what is important today.  It's the little things that bring brightness to ourselves that deserve gratitude.   We all face life's challenges but if we are able to appreciate the good it is easier to work through the bad stuff.  

As we approach the holiday this week,  think about the things you are thankful for and how to better shape your attitude by embracing a bit more gratitude.   

Wishing you and your family's a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

Wendy is a realtor with Coldwell Banker Needham.  She  is thankful for the opportunity to help others through work and as a volunteer in her community.  

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