Thursday, June 20, 2013

Reaping Big Benefits From Little Adjustments

Are you looking for the secret to better sleep, increased creativity, better relationships, and improved immunity?  Most people are…
Would you believe me if I told you that this amazingly, transformative product could be yours for free?
Oh, and did I mention that you probably won’t have to break a sweat to reap its benefits? Can you guess what it is?
Yes, it all comes down to gratitude...
It turns out that your mother was right about the importance of saying “thank you,” but it goes much deeper than that. A quick Google search will reveal hundreds of pages of published research on the myriad health benefits of gratitude.
Actually, it makes perfect sense that people who express their appreciation would feel more connected with others. It also follows that showing gratitude would lower one’s levels of immune-suppressing stress hormones, causing the person to think clearer, sleep better, and catch fewer cold bugs; but it is nice to see the scientific community validate that thinking.
The best thing about gratitude is that it always seems to be followed by a little joy-chaser. That’s why it has so many positive health benefits. Think for just a moment about the last time you felt genuinely thankful for someone or something… Now, isn’t just a smidgen of happiness mixed in with those feelings of appreciation? Of course, the two go hand-in-hand.
Developing an attitude of gratitude is fairly straightforward, and you can start out small, if you need to. Begin by thanking the checker at the grocery store or the barista serving you coffee, for example. Just be sure the thank you is sincere.
You can also build the gratitude habit by taking a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself, your life, and those around you – perhaps record your thoughts in a journal.
As expressing thanks becomes a habit, it will become easier to show gratitude in less than ideal circumstances, such as when your kids are arguing, or not following directions. (That’s when you get to be grateful that you’re the parent, so you can bring some order.)
If you’re having trouble finding something to be grateful for in any given situation, take a few moments to get silent and pray about it. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of allowing yourself to see it through new eyes.
Every situation, no matter how bleak it appears, offers its own opportunities. I know from experience that those possibilities might not be readily apparent, and it can be tempting to throw a great big pity party. (I’ve got to admit, I’ve hosted some pretty spectacular galas for myself…) Of course, if you are in crisis, you need to take stock of your situation, and acknowledge your feelings, but then you need to move on. Lingering over the issue doesn’t serve you. Now, open your eyes to the opportunity.
The key is to always remember that you are at choice: You choose how you will view each situation, and you choose how you will respond to it.

Aware and appreciative that it is unfolding exactly as it should, I am grateful for my life, and all of the people who are in it.