Do Yourself a Favor: Practice Gratitude

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Are you a happy person? If so, beyond any doubt, you should be extremely grateful. Are you a grateful person? If so, you should be extremely happy. You can’t have one without the other.

Write this down: “Happy = Grateful, and vice versa.” Stick it on your refrigerator, in your journal, at the top of your to-do list. Share this with your spouse, your children, close friends. It’s one of the most important things to remember upon starting your day.  It’s precisely what Thanksgiving is all about, so when you celebrate the holiday, include it in when you say grace. If you are not the one who is asked to bless the turkey (or fish or tofu or whatever), offer it up as an addendum.

Indeed, being thankful is critical for good health and general well being. It also clears the mind of clutter, tamps down the ego, relaxes the body, reduces panic, opens hearts to the good things in life and helps creativity.

People are not born to be grateful. Those of you who have children are quite aware of this. It’s a learned skill that is well worth developing. “Developing,” of course, means, “practicing.”

So try each day to be grateful. Once you get good at it, wonderful things happen. Your problems are easier to define when you can see both sides of various issues. And once defined, problems can be solved. Besides, if you make a conscious effort to be thankful for the good things you have, you won’t be driven to want more, more, more — which is a never-ending trap well worth avoiding.

And, perhaps most important, being grateful strengthens your relationships not only with other people but also with your own body. The power of positive thinking is incredibly strong.  Life changing. Miraculous. The most important key to unlocking happiness, thank Goodness!

Lisa Burbage

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