Yes, gratitude is an important next step after gracious receiving. However, gratitude is also an important stress reducer all on its own.
Find 3 things
The easiest way to start practicing your attitude of gratitude is to find at least three things every day that your are grateful for. Before you go to sleep, think of three things–no matter how small–and really feel your gratitude for each one. Picture the person, object, or situation in your mind, and experience your positive feelings. How does gratitude fill your heart for each one? Hold and focus on your positive feelings for at least 20 seconds for each. Doing this before bedtime often helps you sleep better and awaken more refreshed and energetic.
More energy and less stress
Practicing gratitude is especially helpful for stressful situations. Let’s say you have 25 people coming for dinner in 3 hours, and you just discovered the turkey isn’t thawed. Sure, panic and worry might top your immediate to-do list, but try gratitude. Find as many things positive about the situation as you can (see Tip #2), and stop and experience your gratitude for those positive things.
How it feels
Focus on how being grateful makes you feel: how it changes your energy, how it feels in your body, and how it reduces your stress. For our 25 people coming to dinner with no main course example, some positives to be grateful for could include: you’ll have 25 people arriving soon to help, you’ll create lasting memories with those people (it’s hard to remember events when they go off without a hitch), your guests will be better able to focus on your 5-star mashed potatoes.
Use humor, start small, and practice gratitude daily…you’ll be grateful you did 🙂
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