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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Choose to be grateful...

23rd November 2016
Kindness makes you the most beautiful person in the world no matter what you look like.

What are you thankful for?

It's Thanksgiving in America tomorrow, a national holiday to give thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.  These days they gather today for a day of feasting, football and family both celebrations resulted in them all coming together around the table.

I was fortunate enough to spend one Thanksgiving in New York with my friends and watch the Macy's day parade, it was the best, I love the film Miracle on 34th Street and this fulfilled a wish on my to do list, for that I was thankful and blessed. 

 I love the idea of coming together, giving thanks for everything you have, acknowledging the things/people your blessed to have in your life is something we should do regularly. 

Stopping at the end of the day and writing down 3 things you're grateful is a regularly practised idea that can have an impact on your health.

People who are grateful tend to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled. Being grateful can help you cope with stress and can even have a beneficial effect on heart rate.  I've decided I'm going to take up the Gratitude challenge from now till Christmas (at least).  It's easy to do and yet it's benefits have been scientifically proven, in tests, people who tried it each night for just one week were happier and less depressed one, three and six months later.  I'm game for that, I struggle at this time of year with finding my "RA RA", so any help is gratefully received (ooo there's my first on the list).

Just one week, how easy would it be for you to test that theory and experiment with the idea.  How does it work?  Well science is showing that gratitude is important for how good we feel, it increases how much positive emotion we feel and decreases the negative.  We naturally focus on what goes wrong in our daily lives, you know how it goes, we play it over and over in our minds!   But when was the last time you 'dwelled' on the good things that had happened.  You know those things that bring that quick smile to your face or made you feel good, we tend to let them pass. 

If you're actively writing a gratitude list, then you're actively looking for the good throughout the day, that's got to be a good thing, even on a bad day, if you look, you'll find some good things.

One of mine yesterday was in my evening meeting, we were talking about what food we love to eat and one members daughter said 'pasta', I asked how she liked to eat that and completely innocently, she replied 'with a fork'.  Made everyone in that room smile, now if I wasn't focusing on keeping a gratitude count, I'd have soon forgotten that comment and I don't ever want to forget wonderful moments like that.

So here goes, every night before I go to bed, I'm going to think back over my day and remember three good things that happened, things that went well, that I enjoyed or I'm grateful for, however small.  It's a given I'm grateful for my loved ones, although I make sure they know how much regularly!

Once I've thought of those three things, I'm going to note them down, might start me a nice little gratitude note pad and keep it by the side of my armchair, you can actually get apps for this but I want good old-fashioned pen and paper so I can flick through it when I'm having a grumpy day and realise I'm blessed.

When I've written them down, I'm going to think about why, why I actually feel good about it.  I'll look back over what I've written each week and notice how it makes me feel, maybe I'll notice themes or patterns. 

If after a month I feel it's made a difference to me and lifted my winter mood, I'll continue to do it.

Do you fancy doing it with me?  We can share the things we're grateful for on Facebook.  Remember it's not a competition, it's not about the big things, who's got the most to be grateful for, it's about acknowledging life is good.  Mine yesterday were;

1) Members daughter really made me smile when we were talking about what food we love to eat and one members daughter said 'pasta', I asked how she liked to eat that and completely innocently, she replied 'with a fork'. 
2) When my ipads at meeting wouldn't sync and agree with each other, the lady on the helpline sorted me out without giving me loads of extra work to do.
3) Came home to beef curry that I'd put on at lunchtime and forgotten about until I walked in the door, it was delicious.  The benefits of a bad memory.

See keep it simple, don't overthink it, look for those moments, it'll make your day better. 

I'm going to clear out my shed today, then I can be grateful that I made the time to do it when I'm writing tonight.

Have a great day BeYOUtiful, focus on the healthy, happy and of course those things that make you grateful to be YOU!

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