Here it is November. Fall is definitely here; both the times and the leaves have changed. This is the month we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the United States of America. Ours is a blessed country with so much to be grateful for. The busy-ness and responsibilities of our lives can get in our way of remembering that.
Let us stop, take a deep breath and spend some time this month in the attitude of gratitude.
Studies have shown that men and women who have a sense of gratitude about their lives live longer than those who are always off balance: not enough laughter, joy, peace, or fulfillment in their lives. Rather than being the creators of their own destiny and having trust in themselves, they are victims of their circumstances.
No matter what the challenges are that present to us, we have to recognize our own active role in our lives — acknowledge what we can control and allow that which we can’t to pass over us. Whether it’s health, money, relationship or any other issues, this approach applies, and gratitude plays a big role in this awareness. Make the practice of gratitude come alive in your life.
Gratitude Promotes Health
Feelings of gratitude release positive endorphins throughout the body, creating health. Scientific research has proven emotions such as gratitude and love have a beneficial influence on health. Among other effects these endorphins are the body’s natural pain relievers. They stimulate dialitation of the blood vessels which lead to a relaxed heart. Conversely, negative emotions such as worry, anger and hopelessness dump high levels of adrenaline in to the blood stream thus constricting and potentially damaging arteries and the heart. Living a Fight or Flight existence can lead to major health concerns, including deep depression. As we count our blessings, we literally bathe ourselves inwardly in hormones conducive to our good health. What are you grateful for right this second?
Gratitude Lessens Worry
One cannot be grateful and unhappy at the same time. We all know the saying: “worry never solved any problems”; it’s just a big waste of energy and creates more stress in the body. Gratitude keeps us in the present NOW moment where there is no room for “what if” or the worried state. Live moment by moment being mindful and grateful for what’s in front of you. Gratitude eliminates worry as it reminds us of the abundance of the Universe.
Do the work of Forgiveness
It has been shown that as we forgive, we do ourselves a favor. The person being forgiven may never even know that it has happened, but as we forgive and let go of trespasses, we release ourselves as well. Forgiveness can move us out of the victim stance and free us to move on. Forgiveness leads to more gratitude in a beautiful, healing moment.
Contemplate what blessings are in our lives. It is essential that while we are here on Earth, each one of us fulfills the unique purpose that only we can offer the world. Each of us is amazingly rare, and what we have to offer cannot be replicated.
Greet each new day, waking up and giving thanks for being here — another day, all set for your energy to support and bring joy throughout the day. Look for the magic in the simple things.
Send a Thanksgiving card to all the people that you are grateful for and put a note in the card letting them know that you’re grateful for them.
The Simple Joy of Living from a Grateful Heart
As we learn to be content with what we have from a grateful heart and rejoice in the way things are in the present moment, we realize there is nothing lacking. The whole world belongs to us.
– Chinese philosopher, LaoTsu