Would you like to enjoy better health, more loving relationships, and to live in a state of abundance?
Then let gratitude be your attitude of choice!
Why gratitude?
1. Gratitude is at the core of all the world’s religious and spiritual traditions.

Opening to gratitude allows us a deepened soulfulness in our daily life. Meister Eckhart, a Christian Mystic who lived from 1260-1328, said," If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is Thank You, it will be enough."

2. Gratitude fosters mental, emotional and physical health.
Numerous university research studies show the health benefits of cultivating gratitude. Practice of gratitude has been proven to enhance immune response, sleep, vitality, stress resilience, moods, social connectedness, relationships, attitudes of success and financial wellbeing.
3. Gratitude awakens the intelligence of the heart.

The heart is a center of intelligence with its own electrical output and its own special wisdom. When you practice gratitude you awaken and activate your heart’s intelligence. Our world so needs the intelligence of your heart!
4. Gratitude feels wonderful!

Notice how you feel when you focus on the good things of your life. To me, gratitude feels energizing, expansive, pleasurable, warm, easeful, comforting and freeing….How does it feel to you?

5. Gratitude is attractive!
With gratitude as your attitude of choice, you will attract people, opportunities and prosperity of all kinds. Focusing on appreciation of what you already do have allows you to attract even more of what you really want.

Practicing Gratitude The more you practice, the easier gratitude gets. Here are just a few suggestions. Try any of these and, of course, add your own.

1. Write Gratitude

Many of the studies of gratitude’s healing power have involved subjects who spent a few minutes every day writing down the things they feel grateful for. I have found this to be one of the best ways to shift my inner experience and, once my inner experience changes, external experiences also improve. Gratitude magic!

• Hooray! Pages: Start each line with Hooray! Note achievements and blessings, anything from tiny to grand that is going well. Such as: Hooray! I walked for a mile this morning! Hooray! There was a beautiful moonrise last night! Hooray! My daughter called from college! This amps up your energy and helps you lookf for the goodness around you.

• Gratitude Journal: Dedicate a journal to appreciation and gratitude. Free- write, write letters to influential people from your past whom you may never see again, write Hooray! pages to celebrate even tiny accomplishments. Write when you feel stuck in a down mood, write when you want to turn difficult times things around, write regularly and you will turn gratitude into a positive habit.

• Gratitude List: As easy as writing a to-do list, get in the habit of gratitude lists. Once a day or even once a week write a list and know that you are creating powerful medicine for yourself.

• Love Note: Write frequent notes of love and appreciation to your spouse, lover, friends, co-workers, children, parents and of course… yourself! Put notes of thanks on the refrigerator, in lunch boxes, backpacks, mirrors, suitcases. Write notes of appreciation on the sidewalk in chalk, on the mirror in special glass pens( the kinds that wash off easily!) When my twin daughters are home from college, I regularly find dear notes from them on the kitchen counter when I get up in the morning. “Mom! Thanks for the great dinner tonight! If I’m not up could you please wake me up at 9? I love you!” What an amazing way to start my day!

2. Speak Gratitude

• Saying thank you every chance you get is more than good manners. It is an affirmation of the joy of being alive and a way to deeply receive all you are given.
• As often as possible speak thanks. Say thank you to the trees, the sunset, your mother, the cashier, your children.
• Take time to give people specific appreciation for things they do for you, letting them know specifically how you felt when they did the nice thing.
Example: “ Thank you so much for taking time to listen to my concern. When you listened so well, I felt really loved and cared for.”
3. Breathe Gratitude

• Let the words “thank you” silently flow in and out with your breath, like an easy ocean wave of healing.
• Breathe in the beauty and goodness of the world, let its healing medicine flow into your heart and then into every cell of your body.
• Breathe out generous gratitude from your heart to all the world.
4. Embody Gratitude
• Practice gratitude through your senses. Take a sensing walk outside or through your house, open up your senses and feel gratitude for what you see, touch , hear, smell, taste. The simple pleasures of the senses help us feel happy to be alive and in a body!
• Practice gratitude for and in your body. Notice how much better your body feels.
• Shift criticism to gratitude. Notice anytime you criticize your body, or a part of your body, and shift to sending gratitude for all your body has done for you.
• Thank You Body, Chi Massage: Starting at your head, lightly tap or pat your body all the way down to your feet, saying as you do, thank you head, thank you neck, thank you shoulders… let the tension release and your energy flow. Kind touch, kind words.
5. Eat in Gratitude
• The way you eat your food may be just as important as the kind of food you eat. Taking a few moments of gratitude before eating prepares your body to receive the value of the food, physically and emotionally.
• While you are eating take time to appreciate the colors, textures and taste of your meal.
• Give thanks to those who prepared and grew the food and to all who helped bring it to your table.
6. Gratitude Challenge
Is there an area of your life you would like to improve? Try pouring gratitude into it and notice what happens. Make a daily commitment to speak and write and breathe about what is good in this area you want to improve. Do your own gratitude experiment for a month and notice for yourself what happens.
May you live in ever deepening gratitude for the amazing gift of this body… this breath… this earth… this life!

Author's Bio: 

Soul River Guide, Lea Houston, M.A., helps heart-centered entrepreneurs, artists and healers replenish their souls so they can bring their greatest gifts to the world.
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