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The Magic of Gratitude

The Magic of Gratitude

It turns out —

It is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. 

Nothing robs us of our capacity to experience joy, like ‘what if’ and ‘if only’ - or that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. It turns out there is a relationship to being happy, our capacity for joy and the practice of gratitude.

Its not enough to say, “I’ll be more grateful.” But, how do you make a shift and adopt tangible practices?When we take a moment to focus on the good things we DO have, we are more receptive to the feelings of joy. As a lifelong worrier, my gratitude practice has been invaluable. And I feel like it has created in me some resilience when the bad things do happen.

The brain becomes accustomed to thinking in certain patterns - but with a little trail-blazing, you can create new pathways and patterns (it’s called neuro-plasticity).

So how do you create new pathways?

  1. Stop comparing your life, possessions, and accomplishments with those around you. Comparison is the thief of joy*

  2. Pay Attention! You won’t know what to be grateful for if you’re not present for your life.

  3. A little self-acceptance goes a long way. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

  4. Try putting a positive spin on the negative - “We can complain because the rose bush has thorns, or rejoice that the thorn bush has roses” Abraham Lincoln

  5. Give yourself some room in your day to review your Gratitude: to yourself, with a friend, or in a journal.

Want to read more? Here’s an article from Omega by author Brene Brown on the relationship between joy and happiness.

*Theodore Roosevelt

Impermanence + Acceptance (some lessons from a henna experience)

Impermanence + Acceptance (some lessons from a henna experience)