Develop an “Attitude of Gratitude”

Increase Your Emotional Energy

It is the beginning of the holiday season, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. With the hustle bustle of shopping, cooking and preparing for this wonderful day of celebration, we sometimes forget the true meaning of Thanksgiving, “the expression of gratitude”.

Harvard Medical School, shares a helpful definition of the word gratitude:

“A thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives …

As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power”

Sharing Gratitude Elevates Your Emotional Energy

Keeping our energy levels high and being in a state of appreciation over the holidays can sometimes be difficult. With all the pressures and stressors of the season it is easy to get caught up in the “doing” and loose sight of the “being”.

An easy and powerful way to reconnect with the true meaning of the holiday is to focus on elevating your emotional energy. Our emotional energy body is all about our connections in life. Those connections include our connection to others, connection to a specific situation or connection to ones self.

Simply being grateful for being alive is a great way to motivate oneself to seize the day. Developing an “Attitude of Gratitude” this season will increase your emotional energy, allow you to embody the true meaning of the holidays while being more present and available for those that you love.

Gratitude is a selfless act. Gratitude acts are done unconditionally to show people that they are appreciated, not because people are looking for something in return; however, that is not to say that people do not return the favor. Gratitude can be contagious, in a good way!

Apply It To Your Life

imageGratitude makes us happier. A 5-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent.

This very evening, before you go to sleep, simply think of the positive things that happened during the day; things that you are grateful for. Take a moment to do this every night. A fun and effective practice is to keep a gratitude journal to reflect on later.

If you have children, take a moment with them before bed-time to ask them to think about something they’re grateful for themselves. Don’t forget to set a good example by sharing what you’re grateful for first!

If you feel that you have neglected to thank someone for being especially kind or helpful, don’t focus on feeling bad about it. Just write them a letter explaining your gratitude and deliver it in person, if possible.

If you can’t deliver the letter in person, send it via post or email; whatever you do, make sure you make the effort to reach out to the people who have helped you along your path. Not only will this strengthen your relationships, it will actually make you a happier person.

Six Benefits of Gratitude on Your Emotional Energy

Gratitude strengthens our emotional energy

Gratitude reduces feelings of envy, makes our memories happier, lets us experience good feelings, and helps us bounce back from stress.

Gratitude deepens friendships

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Multiple studies have shown that gratitude induces pro-social behavior. Making a gratitude list everyday is enough to make you more likely to help others with their problems and makes you more likely to offer them emotional support.

I’ve found an effective way to start a conversation or move a relationship forward is an expression of gratitude, “thank you for that tea, it was super delicious.”

I have one friend who always deeply thanks me for taking the time to see her. That makes me feel appreciated and that makes me feel good. Wouldn’t it make you feel good too?

Gratitude makes us feel good

Surprise, surprise: gratitude actually feels good. According to gratitude researcher, Robert Emmons, gratitude is just happiness that we recognize after-the fact to have been caused by the kindness of others. Gratitude doesn’t just make us happier, it is happiness in and of itself!

Gratitude feels good, and if the benefits on this page are any indication – gratitude will make you stronger, healthier, and more successful.

imageGratitude makes our memories happier

Our memories are not set in stone, like data stored on a hard-drive. There are dozens of ways our memories get changed over time – we remember things as being worse than they actually were, as being longer or shorter, people as being kinder or crueler, as being more or less interesting, and so on.

Experiencing gratitude in the present makes us more likely to remember positive memories, and actually transforms some of our neutral or even negative memories into positive ones. In one study, putting people into a grateful mood helped them find closure of upsetting open memories. During these experiences, participants were more likely to recall positive aspects of the memory than usual, and some of the negative and neutral aspects were transformed into positives.

Gratitude increases self-esteem

Imagine a world where no one helps you. Despite your asking and pleading, no one helps you. Now imagine a world where many people help you all of the time for no other reason than that they like you. In which world do you think you would have more self-esteem? Gratitude helps to create just that kind of a world.

Gratitude makes us more optimistic

Gratitude is strongly correlated with optimism. Optimism in turn makes us happier, improves our health, and has been shown to increase lifespan by as much as a few years. I’d say a 5 minute a day gratitude journal would be worth it just for this benefit.

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