Happiness Corner

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By Terry Chriswell

Every November as Thanksgiving rolls around, we’re reminded to be grateful; literally “giving thanks” for all we have. What if we put that mindset into practice every day of the year?

Make a choice to focus on aspects of your life that make you feel thankful and appreciative. Is the glass half-empty or half-full? In reality it’s both, but what you are conditioned to look at first? Gratitude requires a perspective shift, and an awareness of the many things, people and circumstances we take for granted. A gratitude practice fosters heightened awareness and creates a feedback loop known as a “virtuous circle.”

Notice how you compare from a place of deficiency. We try to keep up with the Joneses but the competition is all in our heads. When we compare ourselves to others (or someone does it for us, by “shoulding” on us), we feel less powerful, less important, inadequate, unsure about who we are and what we’ve done.  You can’t possibly feel gratitude when you are focused on lack. That race is simply unwinnable.

Focus on present self and the glass is already half-full. You are valuable; you have important contributions to make to the world; and you are the reason someone has a smile on her face or an extra tip in his pocket. You are special and unique, so have gratitude simply for who you are, as you are, every day. How many ways can you find to be grateful about yourself?

An “attitude of gratitude” affects everything. When you focus each day on things, people and situations you appreciate, that positive flow of energy will extend to other areas of your life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to automatically think in terms of gratitude and appreciation? Instead of feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, you will experience your life as full and rich and vibrant, looking forward to even more.

Excerpted from “Moving Toward Happy” by Terry Chriswell, author and co-publisher of Natural Awakenings. She can be reached at Terry@MovingTowardHappy.com

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