by Mary Lynn Ziemer
The secret to happiness and finding the enduring joy we all seek is Thanksgiving—the simple act of continually giving thanks. To realize wonderful positive outcomes, up to and including seeming miracles, do one thing: Show gratitude all day long. Seeing everything in a new light, through a refreshing prism of love and appreciation, imparts a deep inner well of peace, calm and joy, making us feel more alive.
We can feel that way every day, in every aspect of life, awaking each morning excited to create the day ahead and enthusiastic about each moment and then falling asleep at night embracing a profound feeling of gratitude for all the good we know and have. Happiness is contagious and becomes an upward spiral of joy naturally shared with others.
Start today by launching a daily gratitude journal. This single action, the simplest and quickest way to get results, will foster a habit geared to change everything forever. It fills up our love tank, sparks success and benefits everyone. To embrace better relationships, health, clarity, life and tangible and intangible wealth:
- Set a daily time for journal writing.
- Pick a handful of things that prompt gratitude that day. Perhaps begin with people that support you in some way. Everything counts, from expressions of beauty to basic conveniences. Eventually the daily list will grow, generating the joy of gratitude at everhigher levels.
- It’s important to write with love and joy, because such feelings create your world. Even if something’s a work in progress, like encouraging steps in a relationship, focus on what makes you feel good and want more of and you’ll start seeing more evidence of them.
- Elaborate in detail about a particular thing that earns extra gratitude. This carries more benefits from intense feelings than creating a list. When we see how blessed we are with what we already have, it creates more of what we are grateful for, generating an endless cycle of gratitude.
- Take notice of the surprises and little miracles that occur, and be sure to make note of them to evoke an even stronger level of awe and gratitude.
Robert Emmons, Ph.D., of the University of California-Davis, a leading authority in researching the science of gratitude and its impact on well-being, instructs his study participants, “Be aware of your feelings and how you ‘relish’ and ‘savor’ this gift in your imagination. Take the time to be especially aware of the depth of your gratitude.” In other words, don’t hurry through this exercise like a to-do list.
An all-day-long attitude of gratitude ramps up our awareness of life’s pleasures. It takes an already good life to a whole new zone of zest.
Mary Lynn Ziemer is a master of Advanced Life Concepts, certified life and business coach, motivational speaker and author, with more than 30 years as an entrepreneur and corporate executive at two Fortune 100 companies. Connect at LivingAJoyfulLifeNow.com.