Intentional gratitude practices can have a multitude of benefits … when we do them!
The “Grati-Tools” are suggestions for ways to increase awareness of our blessings and privileges, (the ones that already exist), resulting in a multitude of potential benefits – emotionally, behaviorally, neurologically, physiologically, etc.
Your mileage may vary, but the likelihood of benefit is high.
Intentional gratitude practices – “Grati-Tools” – some possible results:
* experiencing more positive feelings, moods, and emotions associated with gratitude.
* more sincere expressions of gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness.
* gaining new perspectives that could catalyze improvements in multiple areas of life.
* literally increasing happiness and well-being; short and long term.
Grati-Tool #1: Gratitude For Those Who Touched My Life
List ten people (or animal companions) from your past or present, who have positively contributed to your life. Those you love, who’ve helped you in some way, mentors, teachers … those who deserve your thanks and appreciation. Once a week, read your list and add ten more names. Think about what you would write to them in a thank-you note. And, maybe … write that note!
• Make an ongoing list of your best teachers, professors, mentors, coaches, advisors.
• Make an ongoing list of people you love and people you’ve ever loved,
people who love you, and people who’ve ever loved you.
• Make an ongoing list of people whom you’ve forgiven, and people you’d like to forgive.
• Make an ongoing list of musicians, writers, poets and artists who’ve inspired you.
• Make an ongoing list of businesspeople, social activists, change agents and heroes who’ve inspired you.
Choose to experiment with the one or the ones you like most.
Revisit and add to them, as you’d like to. Over time, you’ll remember more!
Have fun as you gain some new perspectives!
21 for 2011
By Jerry Posner
Resolutions and “Focus Phrases” For a Stellar Year!
1. Anticipate life’s tests and the best ways to pass them.
2. Compassion is always an option.
3. Confidence just might stack the odds in my favor.
4. Express curiosity instead of becoming defensive.
5. Return all phone calls. Yes, all of them.
6. Make my mom proud.
7. Say, “you’re welcome” instead of “no problem.”
8. Am I worrying for nothing … again?
9. Moment-to-moment appreciation and gratitude.
10. Two great answers: It depends. You never know.
11. Another great answer: I don’t know, but I will find out.
12. Think twice before broadcasting sarcasm.
13. Every eye-roll and frown sends a message.
14. Every smile sends a message, too.
15. Look for the miracles in everyday life.
16. Avoid superstitions … unless they work, of course!
17. Synchronize communication codes.
18. Ask myself, “what do I keep, what do I throw away?”
19. Notice and thank the angels amongst us.
20. Know what I want most, and act accordingly.
21. Wisdom works better when applied daily.
I LOVE LISTS!
Yes, I love lists. They keep me focused, remind me of important things, and reinforce my motivations. Lists are cost-effective, too!
You might have found it useful to keep a “to-do” list of errands you need to run, tasks you have to complete, and projects you need to work on. Generally, keeping a “to-do” list results in more accomplishments, and over time, a sense of which jobs are important to you … and which aren’t.
So the “to-do” list also provides some valuable feedback and increases self-awareness. And, there is the great pleasure and pride that comes from the accomplishment … followed by the cross-off.
But tasks and accomplishments are just one area of life to manage. What about emotions? Beliefs? Philosophies?
To better manage emotions, you might have good results keeping a “to-feel” list. On that list, note the emotions you want to feel more of. Such as: happy, secure, confident, and grateful. Maybe you want to feel calm, easy, flexible, and smart. Make a list, review it daily, edit as necessary, and see what happens. By focusing attention on these things, you might make better choices, and eventually develop habits that support the emotional states you desire.
I also really like keeping a “to-remember” list. This one might have sayings, quotations, and clichés that remind us how we want to behave and our best philosophical, spiritual and ethical advice to ourselves.
The “to-remember” list can help us ride the ups and downs of life with greater ease. Here are some examples:
Change is part of life.
Appreciate the moment.
Why worry about things I can’t control?
Notice the good things in my life.
Each moment is a miracle in potential.
Make choices based on the outcomes I most desire.
Tell the people I love, that I love them.
Go with the flow.
Win some, lose some … however, since I’m breathing, I’m a winner!
I find that this kind of daily reinforcement is priceless. It makes sense. No cost. Doesn’t take too much time. Nothing stopping you! So, do it. Put it on your list!