Developing Your “Attitude of Gratitude”

Not only is November Turkey Month and the start of the Holiday season but it’s also a month for focusing on what we’re thankful for. It’s so easy to get wrapped up and bogged down in everyday nuisances and inconveniences and for some people, a real effort is required to find the smallest things to be grateful for. Just like any lifestyle habit, it takes time and practice to develop an “attitude of gratitude” but if you stick with it, just like exercise and nutrition, it will eventually become second nature to BE a grateful person. Studies have shown that grateful people tend to have a much more positive outlook on life in general and are better able to adapt to new and changing situations. Grateful people also have more energy, attention and determination allowing them to possibly be more successful at the goals they are trying to achieve. If gratefulness is not quite your forte try a few of these daily practices:

  1. Gratitude Journal – Take a moment every day, just as you wake up or right before you sleep and write down EVERYTHING you are grateful for that day. Don’t leave anything out no matter how small or insignificant you think it is. Think of people, things, places, and events. Even something like finding a good parking spot or a beautiful fall colored tree.
  2. Gratitude Token – This can be anything you like. Perhaps a special rock, charm or lucky coin. You want something that is small enough to fit in a coat or pants pocket but with a little weight so that you know it’s there. Whenever you feel that token or touch it in your pocket it reminds you to immediately think of something you are grateful for. This practice will help you be positive throughout your day.
  3. Gratitude Timer – Set your watch or phone to beep at specific intervals (like every hour or 2). When you hear the little beeps, that’s your cue to come up with something – anything, to be grateful for.
  4. Gratitude Directory – You can be literal about this such as compiling a list of names of the people and things you are grateful for in your life. Keep it with you always, and when you start to feel overwhelmed and bogged down by life, take it out and systematically go through to remind yourself of the positives in your life. If you like, you can be creative with your directory using pictures of these people or things. You could also use small objects like beads or charms to represent these people and things. When you go through the directory pause at each name, charm or picture and really think about why you’re grateful. This may actually be a great exercise for you to help calm and restore your inner peace as well.

Initiating any new lifestyle habit can be challenging. If this is new for you, start small and as you begin to see the benefits of your grateful attitude, you can enhance your daily gratefulness accordingly. Most people need a special day, occasion or season to establish the start of a new habit. Well, this seems to be THE perfect time. For those of you affected in any way by Hurricane Sandy, this may seem a difficult task but I promise it will help you through. You will feel as though you can enjoy the holiday season and set yourself up to begin the new year on a very positive note.

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.


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