“Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to having a successful and fulfilled life.”
– Jack Canfield
We often think of gratitude at this time of year with the Thanksgiving Holiday coming soon. Having an attitude of gratitude is one of the best ways to open your heart and feel more present. In my book Inner Power NOW, I talk about how scientific research in Positive Psychology is showing the benefits of gratitude.
According to Dr. Robert Emmons, Author of “Thanks,” A gratitude practice reduces perceived stress by 28% and depression by 16%. Gratitude is related to 23% lowerlevels of the stress hormone cortisol. Writing a letter of gratitude reduced feelings of hopelessness by 88% in suicidal inpatients and increased levels of optimism in 94% of them. Simply believing you are grateful for blessings does not bring more happiness. An increase in well-being is brought about by an actual practice of gratitude.
Finding Three Good Things
How about “Finding Three Good Things” for you and your family? This practice will help you focus on the good in your life. Take a moment to find three good things. Noticing and being grateful for the small things, as well as the big, helps you can find things to be grateful for each day. Fill out each day until you’ve completed one week. You may begin on any day.
Continue finding three things that you’re grateful for each day and continue this practice for at least two weeks. You’ll see how your focus will soon begin to shift.
This is one of my favorite meditations for opening your heart. Find a quiet place, get comfortable sitting in a chair or lying down, and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and begin to release any tension in your body. Now place your attention on your heart. You may also put your hand on your heart. Breathe in and out a golden light in your heart. Be thankful for your heart center. Keep breathing in love and breathing out gratitude. Feel your heart expand to someone you love or loves you unconditionally. Stay here for a few moments. Now feel in your heart some of the things you are grateful for: like the abundance of nature, the beauty of life, so many blessings. Just breathe in love and breathe out gratitude. While in this stillness, spread gratitude to your loved ones… then expand out into the community. Continue to sit in stillness for a little while, saying “thank you.” After several minutes gently bring your body back to the room where you began. Remember to carry this gratitude for yourself and to all you meet throughout your day.
With Love and Gratitude,
Vicki Atlas Israel is passionate about helping you and your family thrive. She’s a Mindset Coach, certified in Guided Imagery, a Consultant at a pediatric hospital, and the author of National Bestseller “Inner Power NOW.” Contact Vicki at InnerPowerMindset.com for a FREE Inner Power Discovery Session at Vicki@InnerPowerMindset.com. Vicki also conducts Inner Power Mindset Training for teachers, therapists, and those who work with children.