Multiple psychological studies, conducted by many august seats of learning, have proven that simple, but extensive expressions of gratitude go a long way toward producing a comprehensive sense of well-being. (These are some of the results of those studies that Globoforce, a blog that focuses on workplace trends, uncovered recently.)
Impressive, isn’t it?
Want to see for yourself?
The following simple Gratefulness exercises have a proven track record for positive results:
Carry three 3×5 cards with you every day, in an easy-to-reach pocket or purse, along with a pen or pencil. As you become more and more aware of the many simple events in your life for which to be grateful throughout each day, write them down.
For instance, traffic flows well and your morning trip to work is smooth and even exhilarating. Write the words “safe and easy trip to work” on one of your cards and give thanks for it.
A client calls with a large order. Write it down and give thanks for it.
Someone pays you a compliment. Write it down and give thanks for it.
Make Waiting-time, Grateful-time
Stuck in traffic? Waiting in the doctor’s office? Waiting for a friend or a client in a restaurant? Waiting on hold on the telephone? Waiting for your flight to leave? These are ideal times to count down those things for which you are most grateful.
Starting with the little finger of either hand, count off ten reasons why you are grateful for your job, your partner, your child, your parents, your health, your friends, your country, your church, or your pet, etc. It is fun and it is enlightening.
Use Gratitude to Make an Attitude Adjustment
If you are having a challenge with someone, write his or her name at the top of a blank page in a simple lined notebook and then write down anything and everything you can think of that is positive about that person. Be grateful for that one positive aspect.
He’s nice to his mother.
He makes killer brownies.
He offered me a ride when my car wouldn’t start.
Every single person has good and bad aspects. Whatever you write in your little book keeps you focused on and grateful for only the good ones. You’ll be amazed at how soon that relationship changes for the better. The more good things you discover, the better it gets.
Give Yourself a Gratitude Power-Shot!
Intense concentration on things for which to be grateful lifts you out of the negative loop your mind tends to get stuck in and turns your restless thoughts in a more productive direction. Five minutes is an ideal time frame for a Gratitude Power-Shot.
Become as still as you can. Practice deep breathing in and out for few minutes until your mind and body are centered. Then, turn your attention to something specific and simply contemplate the reasons you have to be grateful for that specific thing. For example, your home provides you with shelter and protection and pleasure. It’s safe, it’s warm, it’s cool, and it’s comforting. It feels welcoming at the end of the day. Only you decide who else, if anyone, can have a key to your home. It is your personal sanctuary.
Bless Your Body, Daily
The easiest time to focus on your body temple, and all of the reasons you have to be grateful for it, is when you are taking a bath or a shower. As you bathe your body daily, praise it. Give consistent and systematic praise to your toes, your feet, your heels, your ankles, your shins, your knees, your thighs, your hips, your reproductive and elimination organs, your digestive tract, your spine, your lungs, your heart, your circulatory system, your muscles, your neck and shoulders, your arms, your elbows, your wrists, your hands, your fingers and fingernails, your head, your neck, your mouth and jaw, your nose and sinus cavities, your ears, your eyes, your brain, your hair.
Giving thanks for your body parts makes you appreciate their considerable wonder.
Practice Random Acts of Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness are different from the kindnesses we pay to family and friends because they have an additional Spiritual aspect. When we are performing them, we are only serving for the pure joy of serving. How our kindness is received or appreciated or used becomes irrelevant.
Hold the door open for someone who has an arm load of packages.
Bypass a convenient parking space and leave it for the driver behind you.
Pick up trash in a public parking lot as you walk through it.
Wipe away the water you splashed on the sink in a public rest room.
Refill the paper in the copy machine when you see it is getting low.
Most importantly, have fun with these practices. They are the ultimate expression of good news. Every aspect of being grateful literally makes us feel better about ourselves and others who share our lives.
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