Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude (Here’s How)

Faith

As Thanksgiving approaches, it is only natural to take stock and think about things we are grateful for.  And for those who volunteer on Thanksgiving and Christmas to help the needy and the lonely – while the act of giving is always a beautiful thing, why stop at holidays to take stock and to give from the heart?

Gratitude and giving go hand in hand.  And they are both extremely powerful.  Life changing actually.  In fact, according to the N.Y. Times, studies show that  “cultivating an ‘attitude of gratitude’ has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others.”

A new focus on gratitude as a practice is part of a larger movement called positive psychology. Positive psychology, instead of focusing on illness and emotional problems, studies health-promoting behavior and the pleasurable parts of life.

Think about it.  The mind is a powerful tool which has a direct physiological impact on your body.  Just as chronic stress releases destructive hormones into your system, adopting an attitude of gratitude releases enorphins throughout your body which promotes health.  In fact, a positive attitude has been proven to strengthen your immune system!

So the next time you feel a complaint coming on or find yourself dwelling on the negative, try the following suggestions to lighten your mood and brighten your day.  You won’t be the only one to reap the benefits.  Those around you will mighty happy too.  Remember, gratitude is contagious!

  • Keep a Daily Gratitude Journal. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  Simply jot down a few things each day that you are grateful for.
  • Take the 21 Day Challenge.  It’s simple.  For the next 21 days make a committment to eliminate complaints and criticisms.  You’ll be surprised at the outcome.
  • Use Visual Reminders. As we go through our busy days, it is easy to get caught up in the moment and literally forget to be grateful.  Try putting up some type of visual reminder (photo, object or even a post it note) to put something you are grateful for, front and center.
  • Enjoy the Act of Giving. Generosity is not only a great quality to have, but it is also good for your health!  So, go ahead and volunteer, lend a hand, give an ear or pay it forward.  The ways to give are endless!

Once you begin to practice gratitude, you’ll take notice of big things and little things that you may have taken for granted before.  As you feel better about yourself and your life, a natural reaction is to be more giving.  Then it becomes a wonderful cycle that will do you and those around you a whole lot of good!

So, this Thanksgiving, at PBE, we’d like to say thanks and let you know that we are very grateful for YOU!  We are grateful to be part of such a great community of wonderful people dedicated to and passionate about health and wellness.

We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope that this time of thanks will lift you up and carry you through the holidays and all the days to follow!

Screen Shot 2012-07-18 at 2.53.17 PMSincerely,

Vivienne and Andrew, PBE Co-Founders

 

 

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