GRATITUDE UNLOCKS THE FULLNESS OF LIFE
I recently went through a major event in my life, moving from my hometown of St. Louis, MO to Denver, CO. It has been exciting and stressful all at the same time. But what I found during the time leading up to and during the move is that I became very focused on myself. Instead of continuing to be thankful for everything I had in my life, I let the stresses and chores of preparing for a big move sway my focus to what I didn’t have. Some of you may be able to relate to this type of situation, whether you are moving or taking apart in another major event in your life like marriage, kids or even the loss of a friend or family member.
Honestly, when you become self-centered that’s a path to destruction and I have felt uneasy about it for a few weeks. Now that I am settled and moved in, I’ve had a chance to take inventory and see why I felt so poor emotionally.
I recently read a fantastic article by the world’s leading scientific expert on Gratitude, Robert Emmons. At first I thought gratitude and science really didn’t have much to do with each other. However, after reading the article I learned that those who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:
THE BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE
• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of their health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More alert, alive, and awake
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism and happiness
• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Feel less lonely and isolated.
The truth is when you’re stressed out and self-centered, these types of benefits seem to fade away and it only leads to a more resentful and toxic attitude. I realize that we are all human and that sometimes life can simply get the best of us. But what makes us stronger is facing those challenges and learning from them. Today that’s what I am doing and I encourage you to do the same.
Don’t wait for Thanksgiving once a year to practice gratitude in your life. Do it every morning when you wake up. And if you’re not sure what to be thankful for, let me give you a small laundry list of things that most of us take for granted.
- If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world.
- If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
- If you woke up this morning, you are more blessed than the million people who will die this week.
- If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation, you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering.
- If you can read this message, you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all.
After reading that, I know most of you have something to be thankful for! Start today and start living a healthier life.
GRATITUDE COMES FROM ABUNDANT THINKING
If you’re still looking for more reasons to be thankful, I am currently reading a book called, “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think,” by Peter Diamandis.
It is truly an inspiring and eye opening read that talk about why we are in one of the best times for abundance in history and why you should be thankful for it. He recently spoke at the TED conference and I think you’ll find his talk to be very optimistic and uplifting.