The power of thankfulness

I get the weekly email newsletter from our friends at the Heartmath Institute. I’m a big fan of their work and their strategies for staying emotionally centered, especially during challenging times. As the American Thanksgiving holiday approaches, it’s easy to start thinking of the things for which we’re thankful, and no matter how challenging our present circumstances may be, we always DO have things to be thankful for. If you’re not sure what those could be, ask yourself this: are you breathing right now? Is your brain functioning enough for you to be asking yourself this question? Then be thankful for THAT! It’s a great place to start.

I enjoyed reading the newsletter below and thought it was some good, timely advice and I wanted to share it with you all. Enjoy!

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Thankfulness. Admiration. Understanding. Gratitude. These are all aspects of a powerful human emotion we call appreciation. Feelings like appreciation, care and forgiveness come from the depth of our being—from the core of the heart. They have a highly beneficial impact on body and mind. Science shows us when we feel appreciation all systems in the body, including the brain, work in greater harmony. A sincere feeling of appreciation has the power to change how we see our lives and the world around us.

Most know the importance of appreciation, especially this time of year when we gather around the turkey with family and friends. But what about all the other days of our lives? I know. Life is too complicated. There’s just too much to do. Besides, what is there to be thankful for when we’re dealing with tough issues like job security, relationships, finances or health?

Perhaps the real reason we reserve appreciation for our late autumn ritual and don’t apply it as much as we could, would or should is we forget. Or maybe we simply don’t have a practical way to do it. So, I’ll make it easy: Recall one thing in your life you take for granted and spend 30 seconds feeling appreciation for it. NOW!

Remember, it’s just about impossible to feel appreciation AND worry or anxiety or frustration, etc. at the same time. And that’s something to appreciate!

Here are some other ways you can add more appreciation to every day.

  • Every day tell someone—a friend, loved one or co worker—one thing you appreciate about them.
  • Find three things to appreciate about a tough situation you’re facing. I promise: # 2 and #3 are easier than #1!
  • On your way to work, appreciate the scenery. It sure beats worrying about all you have to do!
  • When you pick up the phone or answer an email, find one thing to appreciate about the person on the other end. You don’t always have to say it; feeling it is what’s important.
  • Once a week, take turns sharing what it is everyone appreciates about each other around the dinner table.
  • Make a list of all you appreciate about yourself.

Take care,
Kim Allen

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