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GRATITUDE & THANKFULNESS PRODUCE A MIGHTY CHANGE
On her television show, Oprah Winfrey said: "I will make you one guarantee -- if you will be grateful every day, it will change your life. . . . It is almost impossible for it not to improve." The consistent expression of gratitude guarantees great blessings. Sacred scripture as well as philosophers through the ages and every cultural group confirm the veracity of this promise.
The Power of Gratitude produces a mighty change. As taught at The Forston Institute for Success Over Stress, this state of mind has transformed people with trials and tribulations throughout the world.
SIX WAYS TO BE GRATEFUL
1. Eagerly look for people and situations for which to be thankful. Pray and listen for the wisdom to recognize how and where you have been blessed.
2. Increase the number of times and the amount of time spent showing and telling others how much you appreciate them. Openly acknowledge those in your life much more frequently than you have in the past. Express gratitude for your spouse, children, siblings, co-workers, relatives, and friends. Actually say your unsaid positive, uplifting thoughts of gratitude rather than keeping them a secret. Email messages of appreciation, recognition, and gratitude to family and co-workers rather than complaints.
3. Privatelyexpress, to yourself out loud, ten to fifteen aspects of your life that you are thankful for each day. It is so much more effective when you do this out loud and actually hear yourself with your own voice say these acknowledgments. You can express your gratefulness while driving, walking or even taking a shower. There are a number of ways that you can begin a statement of gratitude:
·"I am grateful for. . . ."
·"I am thankful for . . . ."
·"I appreciate. . . ."
·"I acknowledge you for . . . ."
·"I am blessed that . . . ."
·"What I love about you is . . . ."
4. Write five or more statements of gratitude each day in a journal. Review your gratitude journal each week to give you a better perspective of the joy in your life.
5. Develop a Spirit of Gratitude with the purpose of having a change of heart. Receive all things with thankfulness. A Spirit of Gratitude motivates you to think, feel, and behave in ways that are to your highest benefit. Powerfully change your life by cultivating this inner Spirit of Gratitude.
6. Eliminate the ingratitude that has crept into every part of your life. The sin of ingratitude is far more pervasive than one realizes. Blaming, criticizing and judging others is so much easier than being thankful. Anger, frustration and fear often blind us to the reality of true blessings. Uncover the traces of ingratitude and its consequences. Interestingly, expressing a series of grateful statements out loud to yourself for several minutes usually empowers you to eliminate negativity and negative energy. A negative state of mind seems more easily maintained than the effort to feel uplifted and grateful.
WHY GRATITUDE WORKS
Thankfulness motivates. Gratitude reinforces desirable, emotionally healthy behaviors in your life. We are usually too busy rushing through our daily tasks to pay meaningful attention to TheMoments of life. Gratefulness changes lives because it forces you to look at these moments in your day. As a result, you move your focus from your potential FUTURE fears, worries and feelings of inadequacy, to the present. Likewise, you leave the PAST resentment, grudges, and negativity to be in the present moment where clarity could allow you to appreciate the here and now. Living life, without the excessive clutter and distractions of past and future events, allows you to live in the present moment. When you are in the present, it is noticeably easier to be humble, to be truly thankful, and to change to positive, empowering perceptions.
Daily gratitude permits you to think about your pleasurable, meaningful daily experiences. Life is seen as new and exciting again. Coming from a place of deep appreciation encourages you to focus on positive things. The more positive energy you develop, the more positive things come your way. Being consistently grateful attracts thankful, positive people to interact with you.
THE ROLE OF DENIAL & MISCONCEPTION
Blaming and criticizing typically lead to discouragement, depressed feelings, and the desire to seek revenge. Being overly judgmental also leads one down the path of deception, denial and misconception. Gratitude clears away the cobwebs of denial and minimization as well as fault finding and misconceptions. These thought processes keep you from seeing the truth and from feeling joy and peace of mind. Denial paralyzes--keeping you from making healthy choices.
Thomas Monson once remarked that the mind cannot entertain both positive and negative thoughts at the same time -- one will dispel the other. Unfortunately the negative thoughts and feelings usually prevail. Gratitude, on the other hand, allows you to see the big picture with unusual clarity. Gratitude can demonstrate to you that you had happiness all along but did not recognize and appreciate it.
HUSBAND & WIFE GRATITUDE JOURNAL
Coming from a spirit of gratitude heals strained relationships and marriages. It keeps you from holding on to grudges and bitterness. You more quickly resolve feelings of anger and revenge. One couple kept a gratitude journal of the things that they appreciated about each other. Each night the wife would write three things that she was thankful for about her husband. When he awoke early each morning for work, he began his day by reading the caring thoughts of his wife. In turn, he then wrote three things about his wife for her to read when she arose. This practice of writing in a gratitude journal gave each of them insight into what made the other person feel loved. Celebrating gratitude daily as a family also brings remarkable results with children as they too learn to express their thankfulness.
SHARE IT! PASS IT ON!
Tony Morrison in his "Song of Solomon" presents the idea of "passing it on."
When you learn, teach.
When you get, give.
Pass it (gratefulness) on.
Pass it (thankfulness) on.
Oprah added: "Change begins with you. Pass on gratitude.” Persist in being thankful each day. Be grateful for what you have and what you are today. Gratitude changes hearts profoundly. It works! Try it!
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