Practicing Gratitude Is A Gift

I really don’t get to read magazines much, so I consider myself to be a bit of an odd duck… because I don’t mind waiting in a waiting room. That is, of course, if it is well stocked with some good magazines!

At a recent wellness check-up (I got really high marks on all my blood work and stats…. Thank you VEMMA!) I happened upon the current issue of a magazine called esperanza. The tag line was ‘hope to cope with anxiety and depression’ and I thought… not THAT sounds like a fun magazine!

As I flipped through the pages… hoping my name was not called too soon so I could have gratitude is a giftthis little reading time… I was intrigued by an article written by Matthew Sloan entitled ‘Tis A Gift to Be Thankful. I really enjoyed reading it and would like to offer a little review of the article for you here. If you like what you read, you can link to the full article HERE there is more information and articles on Matt’s website: MatthewSolan.com

The article starts out by referencing the 1913 children’s novel Pollyanna, and the main character Pollyanna herself who is relentlessly or even foolishly optimistic.  The article suggests that she just might have been on to something!  I never realized where that reference of calling a hopeless optimist a Pollyanna came from and I love to learn the origins of terms and sayings… so the article already had me hooked!  And at least I now know for certain that if I call someone a Pollyanna, I am using the reference correctly, but I digress.

The concept of this article, that practicing gratitude feeds your well-being, really hit home for me and reflected back to my own Journaling Project from the beginning of this year. During that project, I too was making it a point to write out things I was grateful for as a method of winding down at the end of my day along with setting goals for the next day. This article references various studies over the past decade that show that practicing gratitude will have an influence on a person’s overall happiness. This includes a positive influence on an individual’s moods, outlook and relationships.

IDEAS AND BEST PRACTICES

There were four suggestions offered in the article for tools to help you cultivate gratitude:

  • Gratitude Journal I completely agree with this suggestion and I will admit that I have gotten out of the habit of journaling. My bad! It does make a difference and as suggested GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAhere in the testimonials in this article, it does not need to be a long and complicated exercise. Just the simple process of documenting a thing or two or more that you are grateful for on a daily basis can bring to light the positive aspects of your life. Do it on your time, morning, noon or night. Nighttime happened to work for me as I reflected on today and planned for tomorrow. Maybe first thing in the morning or another time works for you. You don’t have to put pen to paper, an electronic device might be more your speed. Can’t think of anything from today, read over so past notes or even make it a habit to recap once a week. It is all good, just find a rhythm and a method that you can commit to and keep it consistent.
  • Thank You Notes What a great way to extend your gratitude to another level! Here again, work in a medium that suits you, but I would suggest that ‘pen to paper’ makes it more powerful. Think of the recipient’s point of view as well. Our sons are more likely to read a text message over a written note or piece of physical mail. An email has a 50/50 chance with them.  My best friend is a total card junkie and my cousin loves a cute animated e-cards. Social media offers additional option to spread your thankfulness, gratitude and positive energy… literally around the globe. One kind thought or inspiring message could literally lead to a gazillion others on the internet.
  • It’s a Wonderful Life  Must admit, I don’t think I ever made it through this movie, so I probably don’t understand the power of this suggestion. I know, it is hard to believe that there is a single person that hasn’t seen this Christmas classic… I was probably watching Forrest Gump instead!  Now you can say you know one. From the reference here in the article I can gleam that the premise of the story is that the main character gets a glimpse of what would happen to the people he loves if he was never born. So the article suggest that you could reflect what it would be like if a certain person was not a part of your life to help you see how they are a blessing to you. I suppose this fits into the ‘it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all’ column. Maybe I need to commit to watching that movie!
  • Gratitude Wall This suggestion seemed similar to a dream or goal board idea or maybe a memory collage. Any collection of picture from special moments or events will do. Even flipping though old pictures are if you are one of those organized types or a scrap booking diva, some lovely photo book. At work I have an electronic picture frame with sort of -moments in time- when our boys were younger. It is sort of frozen in time, since the pictures are from maybe 12-years ago or more. It does memorize me and make me smile when I fire it up!

SOME SCIENCE FOR YOU

Can gratitude specifically help with depression and anxiety… seems the answer is YES! Lets take a quick look at the three major biochemical factors that are linked to the experience of gratitude and the effect they can have on you:

  • DOPAMINE affect the parts of the brain that are involved pleasure, motivation and reward;
  • SEROTONIN produces feelings of peacefulness and calmness; and
  • OXYTOCIN plays a role in physical bonding and is associated with love.

That seems to be a win-win-win situation, so I thought  would mention it!

WHAT I AM GRATEFUL FOR…

This seemed like an obvious close to this post for me. There is no doubt that I am tremendously grateful for my family, my friends, my faith and my health, but I would like to offer you a business related answer.

I am a busy person and my hope for this blog and website is that it will speak to and inspire other busy people like myself to follow their entrepreneurial spirit.  There are so many stories out there from people just like you and me who have looked for, and paid big bucks for, mentoring and coaching, only to come away disappointed and more than a dollar short!

Fortunately for me, my cautious nature held me back.  It often paralyzes me, but in this case, it was a good thing.  I will be the first to admit that I can’t do it all… and I really don’t want to do it all by myself.  And by ‘IT’ in this case, I am referring to the world of an online business and/or helping others to market their business, any business, online.

Truly I am grateful that I came across Daily Marketing Coach sooner rather than later.  You can find more information about their coaching program on my Trusted Resources Page or you can Click Here to learn about a 30-day Trial Offer that is hard to beat!  If you have any questions about the program or are interested in joining me there, feel free to contact me!

 HOW DO YOU PRACTICE GRATITUDE?

I am grateful that you stopped by to visit my site today!  Do you have a tip or helpful habit that you would like to share that relates to this topic?  Please leave a comment below and help others… they and I will be grateful!

Doing More Than Just Wishing You Success… Helping You On Your Journey! ~Dawn

Dawn is an online marketing consultant, specializing in attraction marketing techniques for affiliates and business owners. She believes in simplifying effective marketing efforts and mentors business owners to make productive use of their valuable time.
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About Dawn Golden

Dawn is an online marketing consultant, specializing in attraction marketing techniques for affiliates and business owners. She believes in simplifying effective marketing efforts and mentors business owners to make productive use of their valuable time.

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Practicing Gratitude Is A Gift — 56 Comments

  1. I live a life of gratitude!

    Each day I issue a postcard right after prayer and worship. That is 7 days a week. The first person who pops in my thoughts are issued a postcard I create some with gifts.

    I search to meet a new person each day. I really love listening to people share their stories. Then, I feel compelled to send them a appreciation card I designed about our interaction.

    These have become a part of my lifestyle. I will continue to bring happiness in other’s lives by continuing this practice. It has enhanced every part of my life and company.

    It works and all one has to do is be themselves. Knowing it takes people to make your dreams manifest. You need support in some way each day. Be real and express your gratitude while those people are still alive. Do not hesitate!

    Thank you once again for making me feel I am not alone in living this lifestyle of bringing happiness by expressing daily gratitude.
    William Earl Amis Jr III recently posted…Establish, Look and Be A Company!My Profile

  2. Dawn,
    I am so grateful when everything in my life seems to be going smoothly. But I am also grateful when I am up against a problem – and it gets resolved. Even while the problem exists, I usually remind myself that I have resolved these types of issues before and I can do it again – in due time. Most of the time I am just grateful for the opportunity to be alive. Many people I have known, and many celebrities I loved watching, have passed from this earth plane. The problem comes in when I am with another person who will not let go, does not feel grateful and pulls me into it. Then I am grateful as soon as I can extricate myself.
    Warmly,
    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted…Relationship Success – Look Forward Not BackMy Profile

    • I often use the example of being grateful for a sink of dirty dishes. It symbolizes a bountiful amount of food, house full of family and the joy of having loved ones near. And I am also grateful for the dishwasher!

    • Extricating yourself is hard when a family member is involved but sometimes you just have to step back and realize that the only way they will resolve their problems is by changing their attitude and doing it themselves. Its impossible to do it for them. I have to keep reminding myself of this when her next drama comes up – and they are regular!
      Sue Bride recently posted…What are Hashtag Chats – How to Join or Run OneMy Profile

  3. Hi Dawn,

    The answer is a big Yes! I do practice gratitude all the time. I start in the morning Before I get out of bed. I think of at least one thing I am grateful for. A smile breaks out on my face. Then I get out of bed. Doing this, became a habit and it sure is a great way to start the day with positive energy.

    I find myself being grateful during the day. It can be looking at the sky and all it’s wonders, cuddling with my dog and grateful he came into my life or even just eating a salad I grew myself in my garden.

    Once we practice being grateful, those little moments in our day puts a smile on our face and shifts our mindset and we become happier.

    Being optimistic like Pollyanna? Maybe! But it sure works for me.

    -Donna
    donna merrill recently posted…4 Essential Steps Of Affiliate BloggingMy Profile

    • Such a great practice of starting your day with a smile! I often try to end my days with grateful thoughts. I will be thinking happy thoughts -thanks to you- in the morning!

    • Happy thoughts can certainly make for a different kind of day. I do believe more and more that we create our own environment or reality. Thanks for your kind words, Nate.

  4. Well Dawn I want you to know that you really are not alone because I’ve never been a fan of the movie Wonderful Life either. I also keep a journal and while I’ve never formalized the process of listing things I’m grateful for I often acknowledge such expressions in my daily notes. Great suggestions and I think you for the inspirational article!
    Marquita Herald recently posted…The Key to Effective VisualizationMy Profile

    • Thanks Marquita. Journaling is a common practice amount the creative it seems. Glad… or grateful… to be in good company!

  5. I used to journal, write gratitude notes as reminders and put motivational poems on walls. Each morning on waking I’d read a motivational saying or quote. I started during a particularly difficult time in my life and had to persist with it before it started to sink in. I don’t need to write anything down now because it worked for me.

    Most times I can feel good by taking a deep breath, relaxing and letting the feeling of contentedness flow through me. If I’m feeling particularly stressed or down I only need to think of one thing I’m grateful for and I start to relax and feel happy with life again. That one thought kind of summarizes everything I am thankful for.

    Importantly I don’t need to do this often because being thankful and thinking positively is now engrained in me.

    My tip is to read this article and practice the methods suggested. Believe that they do work and persist, even if you don’t get results as quickly as you’d like.

    I too am an odd duck, Dawn. I don’t normally buy magazines so enjoy browsing through them while waiting. If there’s nothing good I have my phone to read a book, play a word game or catch up with Facebook. Waiting rooms are a leisure time opportunity.
    Sue Bride recently posted…Buy Team Site TrafficMy Profile

    • You are in a great place Sue. I have o work hard to stay focused and positive. It is good to know that with persistence, it can be a natural state of affairs.

    • I really do have to make it a point to watch that movie! I almost look forward to a sick day’ so I have an excuse to have to sit still, but my vitamins keep me too healthy!

  6. I too Dawn, appreciate my monthly visit to the hairdressers for a chance to read magazines!
    Love your practicing gratitude title … more productive than just being grateful is sharing that gratitude, and I think it is easy to let those moments pass in our busy lives. From a recipients point of view, it can really lift their day as they feel the appreciation …and so the circle continues – just because you said thank you.
    There are so many ways to do this with pen or technology, so we have no excuse!
    Jacs
    Jacs Henderson recently posted…Finally!! A Peek Behind The Scenes of Team Site TrafficMy Profile

    • We all are moving so fast within our busy lives, we can forget the simple interactions that keep us connected. Offering words of thankfulness and gratitude can only spread more joy. Thanks for stopping by Jacs.

  7. Dawn – I am grateful that you are always writing such amazing articles and always sharing heart-felt messages 🙂 Got to start some where right? I really like the ideas of a gratitude journal, I think it would help me in my daily like and to keep the negativity out of my head. Sometimes it can be difficult not to get caught up and town down by all the negativity in the world. Your tips are a great ways to be more gracious and positive in life!
    Kyle Nelson recently posted…Steps To Take When Creating A Buzz On A Shoe String BudgetMy Profile

    • It can be difficult to keep the negative out of your head. I hope you consider the journaling. It is so rewarding!

  8. Dawn,

    I really loved reading this article. I think there is something to be said about practicing gratitude. If we spend time being thankful of our many blessings, I think it puts us in a place of positivity and propels us in the right direction.

    On the other hand if we practice the opposite, our energy will be zapped and there is not anything good that will come from negative energy. Journaling is an awesome way for us to reflect and connect with that positive energy. Thanks for sharing.
    Nathaniel Kidd recently posted…Things You Should Never Pay For With a Credit CardMy Profile

    • Journaling about … all thing important with special emphasis on my blessing has really improved my outlook and energy. I highly recommend it!

    • Having an attitude of gratitude certainly promotes good vibes in all aspects of your world. Thanks for stopping by NT!

  9. Hi Dawn,
    We missed you at the Focus Group Hangout last night. I really enjoyed reading your post. I’m on the opposite end from you; I’ve watched It’s a Wonderful Life probably about 100 times and I feel like it’s a new beginning each time I watch it. You have the basic idea of the movie but it makes you think to actually watch it.

    Have a great afternoon, Monna
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted…6 Part Social Media Series -Cross Posting -YouTube vs IBOTube #3My Profile

    • Awe… thanks Monna. Summer is a busy time an I am always multi-tasking. I almost prefer the Winter when there is less to do outside and maybe even enough time to watch ‘It’s A Wonderful Like’. I am grateful to have such problems!!

  10. Some great tips here Dawn. Thankyou. I have also enoyed the ideas submitted by others. I think as you get older, you become more thankful. We have had many experiences which have taught us how to cope with whatever life throws at us. I am grateful for all the people who I have met along the way and the ones I am continuing to meet each day. I must make sure I tell people more often how much they mean to me.
    Liz Delaney recently posted…Simple Tips for Gaining Work-Life BalanceMy Profile

    • Life move so fast, we must be careful to appreciate each moment and each person who becomes a part of the fabric of our lives!

  11. Hello Dawn! What a great post! I to have fell out of my gratitude journaling..I’m Bad too! But this does not stop me fromgetting up every morning with a BIG O SMILE because I am grateful for yet another beautiful day. Yes, I do have a lot to be grateful for!

    I use SOC to send out cards to family, friends as well as my team just to let them know how grateful I am to have them in my life..

    Yes Practicing Gratitude Is A Gift! Thanks for sharing..Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted…Your Daily Method Of Operation Is Your Guide To SuccessMy Profile

  12. Hey Dawn,

    Now you know someone else that hasn’t watched “It’s A Wonderful Life” LOL… yes I admit that I haven’t watch. My favorite christmas movie is “Christmas Story”. But anyways…

    I use to journal about what I was thankful for but somewhere down the line I put my attention to things. But the one thing I do is find the gratitude in different situations whether positive or negative. Why? Because I see them as experiences that will help my grow in different ways. And I do have to say that I learn so much more about myself by taking this route! In this sense, practicing gratitude is a gift!

    Thanks for sharing and I hope you’re having a great weekend!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Why Your Free Blog Theme Can Give You ProblemsMy Profile

    • Ha. “Christmas Story” is definitely more my speed! I like the perspective of finding gratitude in negative situations. I think I will make that my goal for tomorrow. Thanks for inspiring me!

  13. I loved this article as I agree with being grateful on a regular basis. After continually working on my mindset and undergoing repeated training, I am now regularly tuning in to the positives in life. It is easy to get bogged down in negativity. As Ray Higdon says – ‘deal with negativity but don’t focus on it.” Being grateful for who you are, for your friends and family, for how far you have come on your journey in life, etc is something that should, I feel, be focused on every day. This then leads to a more positive mindset…..Positive people attract positive people.
    Liz Delaney recently posted…Friday Findings – CanvaMy Profile

    • Very insightful Liz. It is also important to respect where people are on the individual journeys. We are not all in the same place at the same time. If we were, I guess it would be pretty crowded! LOL!

  14. Hey really great post! I love practicing daily gratitude…Keeping a gratitude journal definitely has to be my favourite. Before bed and when I wake up I will write 5 things that I am truly grateful for, and I will feel that gratitude.

    Also any time throughout the day I will try and catch myself and remember to be grateful for the small things in life.

    Thanks for this

    Sean
    Sean purdy recently posted…I’m On Fire!…Are You?My Profile

    • Welcome to my site Sean. It seems silly really, that putting pen to paper makes such a big difference for those like you and me. A daily gratitude practice of one form or another truly makes a difference. Have an awesome day~ Dawn

  15. Dawn, you have shared so many really good ideas here. I strive each day to have an attitude of gratitude, to help others that come my way and to just focus on the blessings.

    I found the studies really interesting that show the healthy effects of practicing gratitude.

    Lots of really good information here Dawn! Thank you!

    Deborah
    Deborah A. Ten Brink recently posted…Why? For The Love Of Photography!My Profile

    • I truly believe that we see -or notice more- the things we are looking for. I am much happier a person if I look for blessing in my life. Glad you liked the article!

  16. Hey yeah gratitude is real big part in my life, more so in the past two weeks, as I have been being grateful for even the small mundane things in life like eating from a spoon aha!

    I do really love it!

    Thanks Dawn, have an amazing day

    • I will have to admit Sean, eating from a spoon may very well be something I have been taking for granted. You have given me a whole new level of things to think about! Truly every day is a gift!

  17. Hi Dawn,
    very nice article 🙂
    I think gratitude is very important,
    it can makes us more happy if we think
    of all we can be grateful for .I often
    think about this during the day and
    it makes me feel very happy. I do not
    need a journal for this ,because thing to
    remind me are all around me 🙂
    Thank you
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted…It is Harvest TimeMy Profile

    • Good for you Erika. Sometimes I get stuck or in a rut or even a little down, so I like to force myself on some level to pull out the good and reflect on it. Writing it out makes it more real for me.

  18. Thank you for sharing. I journal often but lately I have not for a while. I did none stop for a few years recording my daily work routine. I plan to go back and read them. I did intense workout training for a long time. Back to it again but not as much as I did in the past. It will be good to read my old journal as I plain to get back to that level again. I have my gratitude journal it is on and off and I think it is time to pick up where I left off and continue. I live everyday in an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is the way to go. I am grateful for all that is in my live today. I am grateful that you brought this topic up. Have an awesome day! Christine
    Christine Adindu recently posted…The Best Advice For Traveling That Is not ConfusingMy Profile

    • It can be a mixed blessing to journal. Sometime is shows all my accomplishments and other times it shows me how I have stalled. Either way, it certainly teaches me something! Thanks for stopping by Christine – I am grateful for you!!

  19. Hi Dawn,

    It is always a very good thing to practice gratitude daily 🙂 I am in the habit everyday of being grateful for everything and I speak it out loud, daily and consistently…..which has made a BIG difference in my attitude 🙂

    Practicing gratitude is indeed a gift 🙂

    Awesome value and very inspiring post!!!

    Thank you for sharing your inspiration 🙂
    Joan Harrington recently posted…The Truth About Delicious Blog Post TitlesMy Profile

    • Hi Joan. I am becoming more of a believer of the approach to life… or my day… or my interactions… that I see what I want to see or what I am looking for. If I look for the bad or the sad, I see more of it. If I look for the happy and things that are a gift and that I should be grateful for, I see more of the good around me. I prefer the good! Thank you for your kinds words.

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