Monday Mindset: WINNING the Week in Life and Work!
A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being.
James E. Faust
This is one of my favorite weeks of the year. For me it’s when the holiday season really kicks off. Growing up wasn’t always fun nor did it feel safe. My dad was an alcoholic and very abusive. We never knew what to expect or what we’d face, but we were always on our toes.
When I was 10 my dad walked out on our family. We were poor, lived on welfare off and on and went without food at times. Thanksgiving was a time I focused on other people and other things. I shifted my attention from myself and my circumstance to the good in my life and in the world. It made a huge difference for me.
No one ever told me to do this, I just did and it helped me make it through a very hard and challenging childhood. Today research has found that gratitude can actually help you become happier. Robert Emmons is one of the world leading gratitude researchers. Here’s what he says about the benefits:
“We’ve studied more than one thousand people, from ages eight to 80, and found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:
- 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
- Feel less lonely and isolated
- More outgoing”
Here are 3 things you can do to practice gratitude, become more grateful and improve the quality of your life.
- Every day find 3 things you are grateful for. Write them down in a journal, on your phone, tablet or computer.
“Something as simple as writing down three things you’re grateful for every day for 21 days in a row significantly increases your level of optimism, and it holds for the next six months. The research is amazing.”
Shawn Achor – Harvard researcher
- Everyday tell someone what you appreciate about them. This takes the focus off ourselves and our circumstances and focuses on others.
- Positive affirmations. Our mindset is our beliefs which determine our thoughts, our actions and our results. When we use positive affirmations, we change our beliefs about ourselves and ultimately our thoughts, actions and results.
I’d love to hear how gratitude has helping you develop a happier, healthier life.