Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cultivate Gratitude

Gratitude is a pretty neat thing. It's pretty much impossible to be angry, tense, or irritated when you're feeling grateful. It's like the idea of pain receptors being blocked when touch receptors are acting. You know, when we rub our heads when we have a headache, the pain receptors turn off for a bit because they're being blocked by the "touch" information flowing through the sensory receptors. So we feel better for a bit. (At least that's how I remember it from neuro classes forever ago!). Anyway, to me, gratitude is like that. It's a magical way to turn off stress receptors.

I think that's why the idea of keeping a "gratitude journal" is so big these days. (Not that I keep one, but I do think it's a neat idea!) Just keeping track of what we're grateful for can really make us more open to feeling good.

So where am I going with this?

I've had a very happy weekend. And I think a lot of it has to do with gratitude. All week, I've been thankful for my wonderful new job. Then, my hubby got back home, and I was thankful to have him home. So thankful! Then, he let me sleep in and have a day all to myself this weekend. We went to the park in the morning. We ran into a few of our wonderful friends, watched the girls play and climb trees, and Flanna even got to help give our friend's new baby a bottle! (She is obsessed with babies right now, so it was so cute to watch her being so sweet and gentle with the little guy!) I felt so grateful for the neat neighborhood and kind friends we have made here in the past year. And later, I went out for a pumpkin spice latte, then to a bookstore, where I just read and walked around for a while. It was lovely. And I just felt so grateful for a day to spend however I wanted.

So what are you grateful for these days? A good job? A job at all in this crazy economy? A partner in life? Family who helps you through the rough spots? A dog who snuggles up to you? I'm thankful for all these things, and way more. And just listing those things here really did boost my happiness!

Who are you thankful for today? If you haven't told them so, tell them! Don't worry about being cheesy...people love to be appreciated!

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