Creating a ten minute daily gratitude practice is enough to transform your life over time. Not only that, it keeps your life from dipping deep into the doldrums (or crashing and burning) when you're not paying attention.
But why is it helpful?
#1 Your brain will work to answer any question you give it.
Ask your brain why your day was so bad and it will quickly bring up ten things you wished you didn't remember. Ask your brain what was great about today and your brain will go to work thinking up reasons.
Your brain is a problem solver. It will solve any question you give it. A daily gratitude practice trains your brain to solve questions that make you feel good. As you practice looking for the positive your brain will start to do it out of habit, without you having to prompt it. Instead of complaining about the rain your first thought might be: "Hey, the flowers are going to look amazing!"
#2 You get more of what you are thankful for.
When you put something on your gratitude list you are saying "yes" to it without any resistance. You love it. You're thankful for it. You feel grateful. Yes. Yes. Yes. So what is a gratitude list really? A big Yes List! "I love the weather!" "I love my kid/s!" "I love that I am learning new things!" The more you say yes to something, the more you get it in your life.
#3 Feeling grateful feels good.
And that's the point, right? :)
Skeptical?Don't take my word for it. See for yourself.
Try a Daily Gratitude practice for 30 days. Start right now by writing a few short sentences about how your life is going for you. How you feel about it. You can even include area assessments like family, money, health. Fold up the paper or close up your electronic document and put it away. After 30 days of writing down at least three things you are grateful for every day, reassess. Write a few sentences again (without looking at your original writing first - no peeking!) and then compare.
Your brain wants proof. That's good. Brains are supposed to be logical and organized. Give it what it wants. A happy brain is a calm mind.
If you are in a relationship that totally sucks right now... this one is for you.
Are you mad, fed up, or frustrated? Are you trying to remember why you got with this person in the first place?
Maybe they are not a spouse or love partner.
They could be your family member. Maybe even your kid. Or perhaps they are your boss and that new job just hasn't come through yet to rescue you. What I'm going to suggest will work in those types of relationships, too.
Are you ready for the secret?
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