This time of year gets me reflecting on how grateful I am for the many blessings in my life, especially the amazing people in my life, including you.
I’ve been busy thinking up ideas for expressing my gratitude to you…and the first thing that comes to mind is to share with you the power of intentional gratitude.
It’s a practice that I’ve used for about 20 years, and it’s how I start every single day!
People who are grateful tend to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled.
Being grateful can help people cope with stress and can even have a beneficial effect on heart rate.
From ancient scriptures to the latest science, gratitude is known to be good for us and those around us. Yet it isn’t always our automatic response and we often take the good things in our lives for granted. So we have to consciously learn to get into the habit of being grateful.
Science is showing that gratitude is important for how good we feel psychologically and socially. And contrary to what we may think, it also appears that it could increase our ability to achieve our goals.
Why does it work? We have a natural focus on what goes wrong in our daily lives often going over and over these things in our head.
We are quick to notice even the smallest of problems, yet we rarely spend any time at all dwelling on the good things. Things that brought us a quick smile or felt good are all to often forgotten or perhaps not even noticed in the first place.
Arianna Huffington writes in her book Thrive, about how gratitude exercises can have tangible benefits. She writes, “According to a study by researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida, having participants write down a list of positive events at the close of a day — and why the events made them happy — lowered their self-reported stress levels and gave them a greater sense of calm at night.”
Arianna also writes, “Gratitude works its magic by serving as an antidote to negative emotions. It’s like white blood cells for the soul, protecting us from cynicism, entitlement, anger, and resignation.”
Taking the time to notice and record our gratitude is simple but incredibly powerful.
Of course, this will have a positive effect on our entire life, but when we add this to our life with dogs including our dog training, showing and trialing … amazing shifts will begin to happen, and our results are accelerated!
More Great things about Gratitude…
It feels amazing when we take the time to ‘count our blessings’ and get in touch with all we have to be grateful for in our lives. That feeling easily trumps all those others like worry, stress, anger and frustration…pushes them right out of the way!
When we feel and express gratitude for what we have in our life, we are automatically attracting more of what we love. We don’t have to ‘do’ anything. Just remember to get in touch with a genuine, heartfelt feeling of gratitude every day. Then be ready to receive!!
We are paying it forward. When we feel gratitude we are emitting the vibe of love and gratitude automatically. Everyone we connect with, in person or heart-to-heart at any distance, is getting the benefit of our feeling. I like to say that we are “infecting others with our love and gratitude”. And that includes our dogs!
Here’s how to get started with your Gratitude Practice:
- Choose a regular time. It’s so helpful to create a habit … to make this a real and regular practice in your life. It starts with choosing a time that works for you.
For example, you might like to reflect each day before you go to bed, or perhaps once per week, on Sunday evenings. The important thing is that you make it a ROUTINE.
Personally, I do this every morning while I am walking my dogs.
- Find the Joy in your life. Think back over your day or your week and remember 3 to 5 good things in your life – things that went well, that you enjoyed or were grateful for. These can be small (like you smiling at your dog rolling in the grass) or of bigger importance for you (like you remembered to use ‘inviting’ body language and to smile when you called your dog to you). Dig for new things each time!!
- Write your gratitude in your journal – this is important. Taking the time to capture your gratitude can really move the needle for your mindset and positivity…which in turn will accelerate your progress toward living your dreams. You may want to get a small notebook or journal…or even an app if you prefer electronic journaling.
- Contemplate why. For each thing you’re grateful for, write down why you feel good about it. Take your time with this part, really feel the feeling of gratitude for these small pleasures in your life. Feeling the feeling … and allowing that feeling to flood your body creates sort of an imprint that will make it easier and easier to get back into this feeling so that you can truly enjoy every day life … even with it’s challenges.
- Look back and remember. After a week or a month … or whenever you need a ‘boost’ after a rough day or a tough time, have a look back on what you’ve written. Your gratitude has no expiration date! You can look back months or years later, and as you read, you heart will swell once again with positive feelings and appreciation.
Comment below and tell me one reason you are grateful for your life with dogs.
Join us for the 2018 Creative Alchemy Passion Plan program…you’ll be so happy you did!!