Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude Can Bring you Greater Happiness

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude Can Bring you Greater HappinessThe best gift I ever gave had a very small price tag and a lot of love.

My dear friend of 23 years was going through a rough financial year. I was running ideas through my mind on how she might be able to create a special gift with little or no money.  

The idea came to me to create a set of postcards called the 12 Days of Gratitude. Each set would be personalized with the 12 things she was grateful for regarding that particular person. I shared the idea with her. She was not enthusiastic, but I was.  

I downloaded a postcard template from Office On-line and went to work on each set of cards for all the people I cared about in my life. Most of the time it was easy to come up with 12 things I was grateful for. However, I must admit, there were a few people where I had to think really hard. I completed the sentence "I am grateful for _____"  on each set of 12 cards.  

A trip to the dollar store, and I had beautiful red, green, and gold foil boxes for 50 cents each. For one dollar more, I purchased a spool of ribbon so I could assemble my gifts.

I had no idea how wonderful I was going to feel after sitting down and looking at cards for all the people who had blessed my life and thinking of all the experiences I felt gratitude for. The gift I meant for them had already made me feel so full and happy inside.  

I received calls from many people, thanking me for the wonderful things I said about them. Years later, I am sure some people still have and cherish their cards. I even made a set for myself which I still have—what I appreciate about me.

So why is gratitude so powerful? According to the Chopra Center, many scientific studies—including research by renowned psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough—have found that people who consciously focus on gratitude experience greater emotional well-being and physical health than those who don't.

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a great daily practice that brings greater happiness and can improve your relationships and your health. Try starting a journal where you write down five things you are grateful for each day. At the end of seven days, you will start to notice a considerable improvement in your overall mood and sense of well-being. 

Author: Debra Kahnen, RN, ND, is the CEO of Life Mastery LLC. With over three decades of healthcare experience—as both a nursing leader in the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas and as a naturopath focusing on wellness—her view is radically different. Debra is a renowned expert in stress management and wellness. She helps people improve their health and emotional well-being to allow for more peace, joy, and personal satisfaction. Get a free special short video eCourse, "Take back control of your life NOW!, so you can experience more balance and ease in your life.

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