Maybe you have heard about being grateful lately? The practice of gratitude is encouraged by most spiritual traditions. I believe in the power of gratitude. It is something that I introduce to my coaching clients immediately. Even Oprah keeps a gratitude journal, which goes to show that no matter what you have, you still need to be grateful.

So why be grateful? In addition to the spiritual traditions that promote this practice there are many studies in the field of Positive Psychology that show gratitude has the power to increase positive feelings and even reduce anxiety and depression! The truth of the matter is that we as humans have a very easy time picking out what is wrong with us and what is wrong with our life which creates dissatisfaction.

When is the last time you looked at yourself or your life and thought “wow, I am pretty lucky”! It is not that common, but if you do not begin to see the beauty in your life it will never magically appear. You have a choice to see what is wonderful or see what is awful and you are making it all day long whether you know it or not.

The practice of gratitude allows you to change the perception you have of your life. Here in America we are pretty fortunate. Most of us can say that we have water, food, and shelter each day but we worry about obtaining material things. We want more money, cars, flat-screen televisions, and designer accessories. Yet, if we really want to feel happy we have to first be grateful for what we DO have!

Otherwise, we fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others and what they have! We love to believe that when we get what we want, we will be happy! This is just not true. Once a person obtains what they want they often create a new thing they “need” in order to be happy. It is a vicious cycle. How many times have you thought once I have a job that pays more I will be happy and then you get the job and the pay and now you need something else! Happiness then becomes a moving target. The practice of gratitude can reduce these feelings.

1. Make a gratitude list each day. It can be on your phone under “notes” or it can be an actual list in a journal. I have some clients who make a mental list at the end of each night as they fall asleep. I always recommend listing at least three things you are grateful for that day. But push yourself to do more each day and the list begins to write itself.

2. Be grateful for the simple things in life. Be grateful for what we typically take for granted: your health, people you love, your home, your pets, nature, and of course YOU. Be grateful for the little things like the air you breathe, clean water, and the food you eat.

3. The more grateful you are the more you will see the good in your life! You also open up space for more blessings to come into your life and stop the vicious cycle of negativity. Say thank you for all you have and all you are each day and I am sure you will begin to see more beauty show up!

Do you practice gratitude? If so, tell me how. I would love to hear.

Love & Gratitude, Tori

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