Expressing Thanks!

April 27, 2009

   Filling Your Gratitude  Basket

Curt Canada MSW

 

I know that we are all inundated with news events that have placed so much stress on us! Our questionable economy, foreclosures, health scare regarding the swine flu, and continued job loss has us overwhelmed.

Today’s article hopefully will bring some light, energy, and personal strength during seemingly tough times!

 

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

 

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

 

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

 

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

 

There are many things to be grateful for: Spring Tiger Lilies, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, family , tomatoes, afternoon thunderstorm, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies, new fresh spring grass! What’s on your list?

 

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

 

  Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.

 

  Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

 

  Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.

 

  Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.

 

  When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.

 

  Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

 

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work . Thank you so much for visiting me and reading my blog!

 

Curt Canada MSW provides coaching and consulting at Finding Your Zenith

 in Washington, D.C.    www.findingyourzenith.com

 

 

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

I grew up in a very fertile family of fifteen children but never imagined that I would be diagnosed as having a male infertility problem. There are many stories like mine. I thought about how I could make a difference in someone’s life and here’s my support. Approximately 15 days from now I would like for you to recognize and share with your family, friends, colleagues, political leaders, and clergy National Infertility Awareness Week on April 25-May 2nd.  Visit www.resolve.org to find out more about how you can take part in the activities to raise awareness about infertility and family building.  I can tell you that my wife and I have gained so much in education, support, and confidence by finding (RESOLVE) .

Curt Canada is a trained social worker and life coach at Finding Your Zenith in Washington DC.

A  personal coaching company in washington d.c.  is seeking persons who are unemployed and in need a supportive listener.  What will you get from an hour coaching or brainstorming session.  It’s up to you what you will take away from this focused collaborative conversation.  Here’s the ground rules 1  email me your story (250 words or less) 2  your goal(s) 3 you pay for the call  4 lv  a tentative scheduled time for your coaching 5  pay or donate what you can!   Here’s your ticket to helping yourself . Go ahead and take that first step ! Email me at findingyourzenith@gmail .com     ” Help me to help you during these tough times!

Curt Canada is a  trained social worker and life coach  at Finding Your Zenith in Washington D.C.