Being Grateful is Good for the Soul by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

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We all experience struggles on a regular basis. Life gets hard, and it can be easy to focus on our difficulties. However, even when life is giving us trials, we have many things to be thankful for. Focusing on all the good things in our life can actually help us get through our struggles, too.

Being grateful is a mindset. Each day we choose our focus. We can see the best or the worst in every person we encounter. We cindex2an dwell on difficulties or celebrate the wins of the day.

As you go through each day, it’s important to choose to be grateful. As you think about all that you have, you’ll be less likely to complain about what you lack, or about the struggles you’re having. Things can always get worse, and our attitude often shapes the direction of our life.

As you choose gratitude in your life, your perspective changes and your behavior changes, as well. You will be more pleasant, and find less to complain about. This attitude will permeate everything you do, and make you more attractive to others. You’ll likely find that after adopting a more grateful attitude, good things begin to come your way because people want to be around you. They will want to support your business and to feel the energy you give.

As you can imagine, these good things happening will make you even more grateful, and so you’ve begun a beautiful circle of getting even more because you are grateful for that which you have.

An “attitude of gratitude” may not come naturally at first. To begin, make a list of all the things in your life for which you’re grateful. It may take a little while to complete the list, and seeing it on paper is likely to humble you a little. Review this list every day, adding things as you remember them until you have the big things memorized. Continue, however, to periodically review the list to add little things as they happen.

Over time, you will truly train your mind to focus on the good things in life, and the bad things will seem like much less of a burden. This new focus will change your behavior and attitude in so many wonderful ways.  With the holiday season just around the corner is a good time to practice.

Creating a Spirit of Gratitude by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

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The holiday season is often a time of reflection and when we pause to count our blessings. While it is traditional and important to give pause to be grateful at this time of year, it is even more important to create an overriding spirit of gratitude throughout the year. gratitude-athena

During the course of our normal lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of life and fail to notice the little moments and the little blessings that make us realize how much we have to be grateful for. Here are some ways to increase your spirit of gratitude throughout the year.

  1. Take focus off the “stuff”. It’s easy to focus our lives around having the latest gadgets, the newest cars or eating at the trendiest new restaurant. Even when we have plenty of money to do these things, the gratification they bring fades very quickly. When we base our sense of appreciation on having these things, we fall into a dangerous trap, because we feel very deprived without them. So, this year, begin focusing on experiences with the people you love, rather than things that cost money. Until you’ve made a conscious choice to take the focus off the “stuff” you can’t appreciate the value of two hours spent talking or watching a movie on the couch with someone you love.
  1. Serve. An easy way to remind ourselves of how much we have to be grateful for is to serve in our communities. We gain a new perspective on our own blessings and we learn to appreciate how others live. In addition, serving in our communities gives us a purpose and pride that we can’t get anywhere else.
  1. Tell others what you appreciate about them. The act of putting our appreciation into words can bring that appreciation into focus for us. When we begin to reflect on what to say to let others know we love them, we experience that love in full force, reminding ourselves of the people who make our lives special.

Practicing these three principles throughout the year can help ensure that you have a full time spirit of gratitude. Regularly taking the time to appreciate what you have and to express that appreciation to others is guaranteed to make your life richer and happier.