To deeply embody the health-giving principle of Gratitude in a supportive, uplifting, experiential setting, join Bruce at the workshop, "A Dozen Ways to Grow an Attitude of Gratitude," at the next class date, to be announced.
You will learn techniques and approaches that will help make you a more grateful person. Studies suggest (see below) that you will then become healthier and happier.
Attend the next "Gratitude" workshop, date TBA. For more info call (212)721-8640 or email bgood2self(at)gmail(dot)com
What follows expands on Bruce's "123feelgood.com Well-Being Almanac" post from November 2008.
Numerous scientific studies firmly suggest that how we feel about our bodies and health may be a stronger proactive force on physical and psychological well-being than medical intervention. I've seen the positive implications of this countless times in myself and in clients, as focus changes for the better and then becomes embodied.
At Thanksgiving, or any time, a little gratitude goes a long
way. A lot of gratitude goes even further. Gratitude puts us in harmony with our world, in sync with people and situations we interact with – either directly or via our thoughts about them – and in the best possible relationship with ourselves. Lack of gratitude keeps us feeling out of touch, alienated, in disharmony, adversarial to ourselves and our surroundings, and undernourished – yet perennially hungry for more.
Now researchers from three university medical and psychology departments have proven that practicing gratitude, in particular, may be the greatest cognitive tool available to increase well being.
In double blind studies they noted that people who are grateful show more restful sleep, fewer stress hormones, a healthier cardiovascular system, less depression, a stronger immune system and a greater sense of vitality, satisfaction and optimism.
So, how do you feed your gratitude if it is not your natural tendency?
For starters, at day's end or at more frequent intervals, reflect on at least three things that you appreciate.
• Reflect on three successes or any three things that touched you today. Large or small is
irrelevant; acknowledgment is the key.
• Allow yourself to have an emotional connection and experience as you ponder each item.
• Breathe... and savor even your simplest sensations.
• If possible, don't waste your energy on any "yeah–buts" that arise; or at least find it in your
heart to say, "Even though X, I'm grateful for Y."
• Make this practice a habit for at least 21 days.
• Start with gratitude that your efforts are worthy and make a difference. They are and they do. In
studies, those who practiced for three weeks felt the benefits for at least six months.
A FEW MORE QUICKIE GRATITUDE BUILDERS
1. Pose to yourself psychologist/professor Blair Justice's three nightly questions: What has surprised me
today? What has touched me? What has inspired me?
2. Dwell, with open presence, on this gem from Dan Millman, author of The Way of the Peaceful Warrior:
"There are no ordinary moments."
3. Keep a Gratitude Journal for "ordinary" wonders. Feed it daily. Watch it feeding you.
The quality of your renewal experience in my healing "sanctuary," and the ongoing benefits to muscles, circulation, nerves, etc. from the physical and energy-based work I do, capture my focus as a bodyworker. But, as an inherently holistic practitioner with diverse training in other helping/healing disciplines, I am awed to support the consciousness that runs through your body and mind. It ultimately has the greatest bearing on your health, happiness and personal development.
p.s. Stay in touch for the next "A Dozen Ways to Grow an Attitude of Gratitude." We'll explore the above tips in depth – and lots more. I enjoy teaching and am excited to share this material with you.
I'm here to help stoke your gratitude, your reasons for having it and the resulting increases in your health and happiness. Call 212-721-8640 now to schedule your own personalized session – and to grow gratitude with me in-session or at the next workshop.