Joy Ignites Success

Attitude or Gratitude?

By - Friday, November 20, 2015

 5 Tips for Allowing More Gratitude in Your Life



Last week I had an appointment in Boulder at 9am in the morning. At that hour, they say it will take about 65 minutes to complete the 35 mile drive from Lakewood. I made a conscious decision not to complain (especially not to myself). So I woke up bright and early, got ready and hit the road. The drive up Route 93 was perfectly fine, and I took the turn-off in South Boulder that took me through the back roads that feel very rural. As I was driving, I experienced a profound wave of gratitude. The sights were beautiful, my body was happy and comfortable in my new car and I was excited for my day.
I was consciously aware of how good I was feeling and grateful to be feeling grateful. Definitely something I would be happy to experience daily.
We all know how good gratitude is for us. (To learn the proven benefits, check out these articles http://bit.ly/1Facc2H , http://happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/) But sometimes, we just don’t feel grateful. And trying to force gratitude when you’re not feeling it is a bad idea.

Often, when we are in the middle of a huge disappointment, someone tries to make us feel better by saying something like “oh, but you should be grateful such and such didn’t happen”. BS. When you feel sad or angry or lost, let yourself feel that. Trying to replace a difficult feeling with a positive feeling is not helpful and isn’t going to work.
So, how do we invite more gratitude into our lives? Here are my 5 tips for cultivating an attitude of gratitude:
1.    Pay attention to the little things (are you grateful for your first sip of coffee in the morning?)
2.    Set an intention to become more aware of sensory pleasures (the smell of your body wash in the shower, the feel of a soft sweater against your skin, the sight of freshly fallen snow)
3.    Take 30 seconds to note those little pleasures and recognize the feeling of gratitude in your body
4.    Do the traditional gratitude journal at the end of the day in a different way (write a poem, do a drawing, put on some music and dance)
5.    Do an inventory of how well your body is functioning (even if you are sick or in pain, it’s still likely that 90% of your body is functioning well)

I recommend picking just one of the above to play with for a week and see what happens.  Please feel free to share what you are grateful for with us in the comments below. Gratitude is contagious. Spread the joy!


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Melanie Smithson Institute is dedicated to enriching lives through embodied education and training; using movement, play and releasing to connect with innate wisdom and joy.  

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