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How to live your life with an attitude of gratitude

The fall season always brings to mind gratitude. We all seem to reflect on gratitude this time of year, perhaps because Thanksgiving prompts us to.  We all have said thank you for…or I am grateful for…but how many actually live with an attitude of gratitude?

The more I research this topic the more I see that it is one thing to say thank you for, or I am grateful for, but the longevity and power behind soulful gratitude is in the written word. Gratitude is something that can be consciously developed and increased. Keeping a journal helps you create a habit of being aware of all things that are positive and supportive in your life.  It clarifies the moments of joy and reminds you to stop and take notice when you are having one of those moments.

So many of us live less than our best life because we allow fear into our thoughts and it takes root. Fear and negativity bring torment. Once allowed in they take root paralyzing us keeping us from our best. What you think influences what you feel, and what you feel influences what you do.  This cycle is impacted by your attitude. Negative thoughts and fear leave you feeling discouraged, possibly angry, bitter and hopeless.  Positive thoughts make you feel hopeful, encouraged, optimistic and empowered. Your actions mirror your feelings seeking out experiences that validate the way you feel and behave. Changing your attitude to one of gratitude can have a great positive impact on your life and the way you live!

Experiencing gratitude can change your life from self-destruction mode to an empowered, free and happy mode.  If you suffer from any kind of anxiety or depression, gratitude is a powerful tool that could help eliminate symptoms.  Gratitude is empowering, and it shines bright inside each of us.  Often the shadows of fear and negative thoughts aren’t even visible in the light of gratitude.

If you have allowed fear and negativity to steal your joy in any part of your life you can get it back by making the choice to feel gratitude. When you feel gratitude for one thing in your life, it tends to overflow into other parts of your life, even places that you previously thought weren’t “good enough.”  Like anything, it is going to take practice and patience to feel grateful for all of the good in your life.

We all have that light that shines in us and if you allow the negative and fear based thoughts to move in and take root this light will seem dim.  However if you choose gratitude your light will shine brighter. It wasn’t until recently that I fully understood that life is always going to happen and my choice of how I handle it is just that – my choice. Life is challenging but we really do have most of what we need. The antidote to our unhappiness isn’t owning that  new thing, the new fad, or your next achievement… The antidote is gratitude. Gratitude for what you have right now. Here is where practice comes in. Practice and patients.  Just saying I am grateful for something without experiencing it defeats the purpose of an attitude of gratitude. Give your gratitude the power of the written word. A gratitude journal forces you to pay attention to the good things in life we may have otherwise missed or taken for granted. You will start to become more attuned to everyday things all which are sources of joy-and the emotional tone of your life will shift in profound ways. Research shows that actually writing down things we are grateful for you are translating thoughts into concrete language and by doing so you are more aware of them, deepening their emotional impact. This is the difference between real gratitude and merely saying thank you. Keeping a gratuity journal helps train your brain to find things you are grateful for.

There is no time like the present to start these new habits!

Here’s how you can get started:

Write in your journal daily – habits form out of consistency. Challenge yourself to write three things daily that you are grateful for. Find a time that you will sit and write your three things. For some this is overwhelming, start simply by stating how grateful you are for today a new day or for the fact that you are breathing.  Remember this is the beginning of the flow of positivity. You are at the beginning stages of empowering yourself. Your actions mirror your feelings and you will begin to seek out experiences that validate the way you feel and behave. Gratitude can transform you. It can pull you out of that negative place and give you a renewed sense of purpose and joy.

The simplest way to practice gratitude is to turn it into a daily habit, specifically by writing it in a gratitude journal. When you journal you radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you are aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots.

Don’t stop there pick up your journal in the morning and read what you wrote the day before. It will give you joy as you start your day and it will start the natural thought process of “oh I need to be aware of my surroundings”. By thinking about your surroundings you are more alive and receptive to the good things in your life.

Give your gratitude power through your written word. What three things are you going to write in your gratitude journal today?

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.”

-Oprah Winfrey

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