Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

March 17, 2015
by Stefani Beckerman for Thrive Market
Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

Love, care, compassion and gratitude — it’s the heart’s proven optimal state.

In fact, recent research conducted by Harvard Health found that expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better.

Feeling better heightens our vibration and transforms our energy into magnetic attraction. Attract what you want, feel better, have no worries, and life’s a breeze. Okay, it’s not exactly that simple, but it’s achievable and it starts with cultivating gratitude in your heart.

It’s easy to thank the stars above when everything goes according to plan and we get what we want. But we are tested repeatedly, and when the other shoe drops life can be tough. How do we continue to show up every day with all the namaste we’ve got? How can we remain calm, relaxed, and alert so that we’re strong enough to release the drama, breathe through the challenge, and embrace every part of the journey? By being grateful for not only every gift that falls effortlessly into your lap, but also for the obstacles you stumble on along the way.

An in-depth study by Dr. Robert Emmons through The John Templeton Foundation analyzed gratitude and its positive impact in our lives. The study found that grateful people report higher levels of positivity, overall satisfaction, resilience, and lower levels of stress and depression.

Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, published a paper articulating some of her findings between positivity and life skills. She explained that positive people experience more joy, happiness, and love and therefore are more open to possibilities, more productive, more engaged, and more fulfilled. Positive people also have better social skills and are able to make deeper relationships to settle into a community that support their goals.

This powerful prescription for a positive mindset is real, it’s easy to access and the best part is, it’s free! Fake it until you make it if need be. Spend one week writing down five things you are grateful for that day. Start small: "I’m grateful for my body. I’m grateful for the piece of chocolate my coworker left on my desk." Whatever. Start becoming aware of all the gifts all around you, all the time.

Your heart can actually touch people. A HeartMath study set out to determine if the heart’s electromagnetic field, as measured by an electrocardiogram (EKG) in one person could be felt by another person within three feet of each other or holding hands. The study found their theory was correct, and discovered that the heart’s energy can be detected eight feet from the body.

As we expand our gratitude consciousness individually, we empower the collective whole. By connecting to something larger than ourselves, acknowledging the goodness that we have currently, we can improve our health. We can feel happier, more engaged, and powerful. We can clear our minds and empower our hearts to lead the way. From this place we are balanced and when we are in balance we find our true flow.

Other ways you can tap into your center of gratitude:

-Meditation
-Yoga
-Morning walks
-Soul Cycle
-Spend time with friends
-Spend time alone
-Journal
-Stretching

Illustration by Katherine Prendergast

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This article is related to: Emotional health, Happiness, Love, Mental Health, Spiritual health, Gratitude, Heart, Mind

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