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Living Gratefully

Melody Beattie

Gratitude is more than counting your blessings. Incorporating gratitude into your life, or practicing grateful living, leads to a sense of well being and improved health. When we practice both meditation and grateful living, we become aware of the abundance in our lives. Focusing our attention away from negative and stressful thoughts, increases heart health and triggers positive changes in your brain. I am not making this up, there is a lot of scientific evidence of these physiological benefits. I am providing a link to a blog onGrateful living practices, that asks us to notice all that is already fully present and abundant in our lives – from the tiniest things of beauty to the grandest of our blessings. In this essay Brother David Steindl-Rast, OSB, urges us to be awake to the surprising world we live in, be aware of the opportunities offered us to simply enjoy our life and lastly to respond to these opportunities alertly. Incorporating these practices in our life, makes us aware of and available to all of life’s opportunities. We all have opportunities and good things in our life, even in the most challenging of times. If we develop a habit of noting the good in everyday life it will be so much easier to find the good when difficulties arise. Many people advise you to keep a gratefulness journal, reflect on your day and find three to five things to be grateful for. I will add to this it is important to be specific. If you fall back on the same generic "I am grateful for my family" every day you will only succeed in boring yourself. Develop the habit of noticing the person who holds a door for you when you have your hands full, the person who always greets you with a smile and a hello, the person who refills your water glass when it is nearly empty. By noticing the things for which we are grateful every day our spirits will be lifted, this will lead us to be a positive influence for others, and help to change the world.

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