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Peter J. Pizor, Ph.D. C.H. 
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Accessing the Power of Gratitude to help your resolutions work for you.

 

by Peter J. Pizor, Ph.D.

 

 

Ready for a change? The practice of gratitude has been a hidden tool for finding and growing your personal happiness. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, better health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and even a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

 

The evidence is overwhelming. Gratitude works. It still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a once a year word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a grove in a new habit. Here is the secret to bringing in this powerful and positive habit into your life.  

 

Start by practicing gratitude.  When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to discover all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

 

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

 

There are many things I am grateful for: beautiful surroundings, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, my favorite foods, warm jackets, songs we love, the ability to read, roses, our health, biking in the desert. What’s on your list?

 

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

 

•  Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.

 

•  Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

 

•  Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.

 

•  Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.

 

•  When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.

 

•  Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

 

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how comfortable and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

 

 

Author’s content used with permission, © Claire Communications

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