Gratitude: Make It Happen In Your Life

By Darla Breckenridge
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Can you imagine starting out your day with a thank you? Imagine connecting with your Green Mountain wins…small successes that you count, notice and hold on to. Imagine starting a sentence with I am thankful____________.

Gratitude and appreciation are ways to increase your positive self talk and by definition, decrease your negative self talk.

The first thing you do each day gets done and there is scientific research that suggests that writing down your gratitude just might be one of the things that you decide to get done. A psychologist and professor at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Robert Emmons is one of the foremost experts in the field of gratitude.

Dr. Emmons research demonstrated that “those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events.”

Dr. Vickie Chang suggests several ways to include the practice of gratitude in your daily life.

  • Pick a gratitude buddy. Just like a workout buddy, a gratitude buddy can keep you motivated and on track with practicing gratitude.
  • Savor gratitude daily.  When you appreciate something, stop for 30 seconds and really let it sink in. Note any emotions you are feeling. Tune into how your body reacts when you are feeling gratitude.
  • Notice what you take for granted. Think through how your life would change if you did not have something that you take for granted, and notice any thoughts or emotions that arise.

If you added gratitude to the first thing you do each day, how would you finish I am thankful_________?

 

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