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A New Year, a more grateful you!Why gratitude should be part of your New Year’s resolution!

Gratitude is a simple yet overlooked factor in our day to day life. Yet, all of us have felt its power at one point or another. Maybe you felt it after surviving a “close call” with the enemy or perhaps it was surviving a health scare that at first seemed highly unlikely. It’s in the moments that immediately follow these run ins with great danger and fear that we truly acknowledge how grateful we are to be alive, to breathe, and to continue our journey. Yet this moment of conscious gratitude and awareness quickly dissipates as we return back to our normal mode of operation. Yet for a brief moment, the sun is brighter, the sky is bluer, and life feels more complete.

Cultivating gratitude daily is the key to holding that moment longer. We can feel better, see clearer and feel complete. All we have to do is open our eyes to the truth.

"Things" do not equal satisfaction and happiness. Which is why when we anchor our gratitude to the material world it does not work. The key is to focus on the true gifts that we receive every day. Friendships, family, meaningful connections, nature itself, and day to day interactions with other people. These interactions do not cost you anything financially, yet if you focus on cultivating them daily you will be richer for it. This is how we replenish our MIND, BODY, and SPIRIT.

When we choose to express gratitude daily we our positively affecting not just our mental health, but also our body chemistry. Studies have proven time and time again, that our behavior can change our biology. By simply choosing to express positive gestures (waving hello, shaking hands, smiling, and maintaining eye contact) our bodies release oxytocin, which help us feel less stressed and reduce our blood pressure. What’s even more impressive is that the benefits are not just for you, they also impact the person that you are showing gratitude towards. Gratitude truly helps everyone around us.

So how do we actually put our new found appreciation of gratitude into action. What does cultivating more gratitude look like? How and where do we start? The answer is much simpler than you think.

The following list is a starting point for how we can start cultivating more gratitude within our daily life today. The more we strive to focus on the good and express our gratitude towards it, the more you’ll start to notice the change within you and how you lead your life.

1. Start a Gratitude Journal – Develop a daily habit of journaling what you are grateful for. Reflect on the daily events, the people, and even the challenges that you are grateful to have overcome.

2. Cultivate gratitude for the bad – We develop a greater appreciation for all that we have, when we remember what we have conquered. When we look back at everything that we struggled with and endured, we develop a clear understanding of how grateful we should be for where we are in life.

3. Express gratitude to others daily – Cultivate gratitude daily with those that are closest to you. Make it a point to connect with the people that you love and care about the most. Let them know why you are grateful for them.

4. Meditate on Gratitude – As you begin your meditation start by taking an inventory of all the things that you are grateful for in your life, but also focus and express your gratitude towards your health, mind, body and spirit. These are crucial aspects of our lives that we need to be grateful for.

5. Give thanks before your meals – Express your gratitude for the food that nourishes you. By saying “thank you”, whether that be to God, the Universe, or even just yourself. We tend to forget just how important food is. Being able to show our gratitude multiple times a day allows us to truly create a long standing practice of gratitude.

As we move into the New Year, make cultivating gratitude a part of your new year's resolution. Practicing gratitude doesn’t come with a hefty price tag, it doesn’t require us to join a new club or buy anything to get started. It simply requires us to be present and willing to acknowledge the gifts that we have been blessed with.

If you're looking for a Gratitude Journal check out our "30 Day Gratitude Challenge Journal" in our store and start journaling on your iPad, tablet, or computer today!


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