5 Steps Toward Gratitude

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5 Steps Toward Gratitude
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5 Steps Toward Gratitude
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Stepping Stones
November, 2015
Issue #142
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Her Mentor Center
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5 Steps Toward Gratitude
At Thanksgiving, in addition to enjoying turkey and stuffing, it's a perfect time to express gratitude for family and friends. We draw together for support when there's a crisis and this year is no different. Appreciation - like a heartfelt thank you - can be a daily gift this holiday season for those you love. And the cost won't even cut into your tight budget.    
Yet it's often difficult to say thanks and we tend to take good things for granted. People instinctively pay more attention to threats to their safety than to situations of security and pleasure. We are less likely to notice supportive behaviors, and so positive acts are often ignored.
Expressing gratitude not only makes others feel better but also benefits you and your mood. When you focus on what you're grateful for, there's a wide range of rewards - sounder seep, greater self-esteem, more contentment and improved connections with the world around you.
Any change in behavior is difficult - and establishing life-long habits takes conscious repetitions. It may be hard to make the commitment to build this new skill, but here are some steps to help you get started:
Notice what brings you joy. Awareness is the first step toward creating change. Set aside time to participate in the process of experiencing and acknowledging your gratitude.
Count your blessings. Each evening, note three things that made you smile during the day. Be specific as you describe what happened. It could be a loving conversation with your partner, a hug from your teenage son, a lunch date with your mother.
Re-live each of these events. Spend time savoring the happiness of the experience. You'll feel your body becoming more relaxed, your emotions more positive and your thoughts more focused. The joys of life are not only in present activities but also in re-living pleasurable occasions.
Reflect on why you were open to the moment. Then direct your actions to include more of these delights in your life. Recognizing your own personal power will strengthen belief in yourself as well as a willingness to consider the part others play in your happiness.
Realize how this good fortune came your way. It will help you identify the people you're grateful to have in your life. You can then thank them for playing a part in improving your world.
This Thanksgiving, focus on your gratitude and then express it - you'll have a jump-start on creating your list of New Year's resolutions.
(c) Her Mentor Center, 2015
 You May Be Interested.....       
Last weekend in L.A., we participated in a KNX news radio forum dedicated to Baby Boomers caring for growing children and aging parents. If you're a member of the Sandwich Generation, you may be interested in listening to some of the PODCASTS.
Here you'll find thought provoking panel discussions about Boomerang Kids,  
long-term caregiving and being stuck in the middle, all packed full of compassion, ideas and resources.
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