Nassim Sana

Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude

Nassim Sana, MCMost of us spend our days and night on autopilot, rushing through everything as planed and scheduled. We have become so automated that we don’t even realize that what we are doing is rushing through life and missing the little miracles that occur in our lives. It seems that we have convinced ourselves that if we finish all of our tasks somehow we are ahead of our game. The reality is that daily tasks and responsibilities will always be there, however in the meantime we are forgetting to stop give thanks be in the moment and smell the roses.

The surge of happy thoughts and memories makes us feel happy and joyous inside. As human beings we have an innate need to feel happy, and one of the major ways that can create that sense of happiness for us is being thankful.

Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings and noticing simple pleasures and acknowledging everything around you and what you receive. Look at your life as a miracle and be aware that everything in it as a miracle. Recently renowned actress Valerie Harper won her fight with terminal brain cancer. Now she is dancing on the show “Dancing with Stars”. She stated, “When they asked, I thought, ‘Why would I say no?’ “Says Harper” When life asks you to dance, you just have to dance.” Many individuals who are faced with life-changing events see the importance of focusing their life on what is really important and seeing the abundance that surrounds them.

Behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress. Psychologists, Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, conducted a study. The study split several hundred people into three different groups and all of the participants were asked to keep daily diaries. The first group kept a diary of the events that occurred during the day without being told specifically to write about either good or bad things; the second group was told to record their unpleasant experiences; and the last group was instructed to make a daily list of things for which they were grateful. The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy. In addition, those in the gratitude group experienced less depression and stress, were more likely to help others, exercised more regularly, and made greater progress toward achieving personal goals. Another study by Dr. Emmons showed that practicing gratitude can increase happiness levels by around 25%. The study also explain one other significant point, just as there’s a certain weight that feels natural to your body and which your body strives to maintain, your basic level of happiness is set at a predetermined point. If something bad happens to you during the day, your happiness can drop momentarily, but then it returns to its natural set-point. Likewise, if something positive happens to you, your level of happiness rises, and then it returns once again to your “happiness set-point”. A practice of gratitude raises your “happiness set-point” so you can remain at a higher level of happiness regardless of outside circumstances. Research shows, that those who practice giving gratitude tend to be more creative, have stronger immune systems, and have stronger social relationships then those who don’t practice gratitude.

The question remains, “how we can create an attitude of gratitude in our daily lives?” Here are some key ways to get started:

First we have to learn to be present at all events and people in your lives. When something good or challenging takes place in your life, be thankful and ask yourself, “What is good about this?” “What can I learn from this?” and “How can I benefit from this?”

Second buy a small notebook and every night before going to sleep write down three things you are grateful for. It is important to recognize the simple things in your life as well and the significant things. For example be thankful for the coffee you drank in the morning and how great it tasted, or the big hug you gave someone you love.

Third, once you have enough entries, it’s very important to go back and read your entries. The more you are able to recognize what you’re grateful for the more your brain will shift its focus and change the inner dialogue we have with ourselves. By using this tool we begin to decrease the negative self-talk that we have all mastered. Other helpful ways to practice gratitude is when you’re driving. We spend at least 2 hours a day in our cars. You would be surprised what results you can produce by just spending 5 minutes of that driving time thinking of the good things in your life.

Just like anything the more you practice the more exciting results you begin to create. Remember the attitude of gratitude begins with taking a moment to be grateful. Here are some helpful tips on how to bring abundance in to your life.

Nassim Sana, M.C, C.C
Beauty in Truth Life Coaching