Has your fast paced life and heavy workload kept you from enjoying what’s around you? When was the last time you had a good night sleep without having to take anything for it? Do you recall the last time you took a few minutes just to savour the things that made you happy?
Here’s a simple way to add more richness, relaxation, and rejuvenation into your busy work-life schedule. Try incorporating a regular dose of “Attitude of Gratitude” into your day. That’s right: gratitude. This technique takes less than 1 minute to do and can boost your health and happiness with persistent practice.
First of all, let’s get clear on, “what is gratitude?” Gratitude, according to Cicero, is the mother of all virtues. He said that within this simple gracious self-affirming act comes a cascade of many wonderful inner human qualities. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines gratitude as: a feeling of appreciation or thanks. Scientists since the late 1990′s have studied this human quality and have found many health and happiness benefits with the constant practice of it.
Gratitude, according to Robert Emmons, the world’s leading researcher in the science of gratitude, explains that gratitude has two parts. According to him, “First it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received.” Second, he states that it is “a relationship-strengthening emotion because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people.”
Here are some interesting facts about the practice of gratitude:
1. It leads to increasing levels of optimism and other positive emotions, which will eventually help you live a longer and happier life (R. Emmons and Sonja Lyubomirsky).
2. It’s nearly impossible to be grateful and feel envious at the same time. The positive emotion of gratitude cancels out negative emotions (R. Emmons).
3. Grateful people sleep better (Wong Wing-Sze, et al).
4. Grateful people tend to exercise more than those who don’t practice gratitude (R. Emmons).
5. Gratitude is an immune booster (R. Emmons and M. McCullough).
Are YOU ready to start applying this powerful technique into your life?
Here are 3 simple ways for you to choose from to begin your “attitude of gratitude” practice:
1. Do the 3 Blessings exercise, created by Robert Emmons, where you list the 3 things, big or small, that you consider being a positive experience.
2. Say more Thank You’s to people around you — especially when they seem to be correcting you. (A technique I learned from one of my Acupressure Shiatsu teacher, Caroline, over 10 years ago.) This made me feel less inadequate for making a mistake but appreciative for the potential for being better in my practice.
3. Just like the old saying, “Stop and smell the roses!” Literally stop and smell the beautiful scents of nature around you whether you are in your kitchen cooking up a quick meal or outside on your way to your car for an errand. Stop for 30 seconds and take in all the good around you.
Written by Debbie Lyn Toomey.