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Cultivate gratitude for greater wellness

Many people are still struggling financially or are feeling pessimistic about the economy. Others are dealing with serious health or relationship challenges.

Cultivating a deep sense of gratitude within is often the best way to initiate change. Thus, if you are seeking greater wellness, you might want to start a gratitude journal and add to it each and every day. Ideally, you already have a list of things you’re grateful for in your head and perhaps you have written some of those down.

If you decide to keep a journal, remember that habits are usually formed within three to four weeks. With a bit of focus, gratitude tends to take on a life of its own. Over time you will find a more positive (and less stress-inducing) attitude will become more automatic.

Even in difficult times, there is always something to be grateful for, such as the breath of life, our heart beat, the blessings of family, friends, pets, sunshine, flowers, water, food, or any number of things we usually take for granted. Begin by simply allowing yourself (as best you can) to fully welcome the feeling of thankfulness in your heart for the simple things.

Accept whatever is manifesting in your life now

Another way to cultivate gratitude is to simply accept whatever is manifesting in your life right now, whether “good” or “bad.” This means letting go of dissatisfactions and even the desire to change. I know this sounds contradictory, but oftentimes the wanting to change creates negative feelings that can block inspired solutions. The more you can let go of resistance to what is, the more you can feel grateful for what you already have.

And if you need more inspiration, the following vignettes (which have been widely circulated on the internet) can help put things into perspective and remind us of what we have to be thankful for:

1. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of the people in the world.

2. If you can attend a church or synagogue meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than 3 billion people in the world.

3. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are more blessed than 500 million people in the world.

4. If you have money in the bank, money in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

5. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

The healing power of gratitude

You might be wondering why or how gratitude can make a difference. Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto’s work with water has revealed the healing power of gratitude. Using high-speed photography, Emoto discovered that when thoughts, feelings, or words of gratitude were directed toward water, the most beautiful and the most intricate of all water crystals were formed.

In his book The Hidden Messages in Water, Emoto concludes: “What the world needs now is gratitude. We must begin by learning what it means to have enough. We need to feel gratitude for having been born on a planet so rich in nature, and gratitude for the water that makes our life possible. . . . When you have become the embodiment of gratitude, think about how pure the water that fills your body will be. When this happens, you yourself will be a beautiful, shining crystal of light.”

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  • Norma 5 years ago

    It never ceases to amaze me, exactly how much difference a positive (greatful) attitude can impact our lives. Thank you for the wonderful article.

  • Nancy 5 years ago

    I agree, Norma. Thank you for your comment. You might be interested in checking out the book "Biology of Belief" by Dr. Bruce Lipton. It is a fascinating read and scientifically proves how our thoughts and beliefs affect our bodies at the cellular level. Have a great day!