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Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you are around someone who is genuinely grateful and has an attitude of gratitude?  I have and I absolutely love it!  My whole mood is lifted up.  I feel lighter, freer and have more energy.  I’m more creative.  My outlook tends to match their grateful attitude and as a result the connection we make is based upon positive thoughts, creative energy and an urge to pull each other forward to a higher place than we were before we met.

Did you know that having an attitude of gratitude actually kills self-pity, jealousy, bitterness, regret and negative thoughts?   More often than not, the thing that holds you back more than anything else is your own negative thoughts and negative self-talk.  We all have negative thoughts from time to time.  However, focusing on gratitude will help diffuse the negativity and propel you forward.

I’ve made it a practice to do a “Gratitude Challenge” each November to build joy, balance and strength before the holidays.  Many of us find ourselves stressed out during the holidays due to the hurry, worry and scurry as well as unrealistic expectations of a perfect holiday moment.  To get ahead of finding yourself in a negative spiral, whether it be during the holidays or another moment of disappointment is through a gratitude challenge.

One of the best ways to become filled with an attitude of gratitude is to start keeping a gratitude journal.  There are a number of ways you can keep a gratitude journal.  You can record something you are grateful for each day on Facebook and ask your friends and family to join you in a 30 day gratitude challenge.  You can get creative and make a journal and fill it with writing about moments you are grateful for as well as pictures of things that make you feel grateful.

You may doubt how transformational this simple act can have on your life.  You may be skeptical.  Professor Emmens did a study on a group of people who kept a gratitude journal.  He found that in just three weeks there was a direct positive effect on those who kept a gratitude journal, and what’s even more impressive is the positive effects lasted for several months after the three week period.  The people in the study exercised more, drank less alcohol and their friends and family noticed they were nicer to be around.  Imagine what a difference a gratitude journal can make on your life if you chose to participate for 6 weeks!

Developing an attitude of gratitude will transform your life and will provide you with tremendous strength to withstand future challenges.  I have found that no matter how bad things may seem the simple act of writing things down for which I’m thankful for will shift my mood and focus.  It takes a conscious effort to be positive and focus on why you should feel grateful.

Take a moment right now to write down 10 things you are grateful for, they can be big or small. 

I encourage you to be thankful for the people you meet and those that are in your life.  Relationships take time and energy.  Nurture your relationships and don’t take them for granted.  You never know what challenges you may have to face in your life.  People will never know how much you appreciate them until it’s too late.  Let them know how much you love and appreciate them today.  Give your love and hugs freely and often.

Begin your 30 day attitude of gratitude challenge today!  You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.  Remember what Professor Emmens discovered while researching a gratitude challenge, in just three weeks there was a direct positive effect on those who kept a gratitude journal, and what’s even more impressive is the positive effects lasted for several months after the three week period.  If you are an overachiever I challenge you to a 60 day attitude of gratitude challenge! 

Now that you’ve read my thoughts for developing an attitude of gratitude, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please comment below to start the conversation so we can learn and grow from each other.  Thanks again!  Peggy

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