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Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

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Novemember naturally seems to be a time of the year where we discuss what we are thankful for. Challenge yourself to adopt an attitude of gratitude, not just in November, but for a lifetime. Here are some tips below to help cultivate gratitude in our daily lives.

Proverbs 17:22 says “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

1) Keep a gratitude journal

   It gives you perspective and allows time for reflection. It allows you to organize your thoughts and put the experience into context.

2) Remember and be grateful for challenges and “negative” experiences

   These are often the times we learn the most valuable lessons in patience, understanding, humility, and strength.

3) Focus on the gifts

   Be thankful for the gifts we receive from others….a smile, kind words, the gift of time, material possessions, and wisdom. Remeber, not all   gifts are things you can hold in your hands.

4) Pray for gratitude

   Even when we don’t feel like being thankful-there is still so much to be thankful for!

5) Be grateful for your health

   The body is amazing machine-be thankful for all that yours can do.

6) Keep a visual reminder to be grateful

   A picture frame with your favorite gratitute quote or a list of items you are thankful for can serve as a daily reminder to keep things in    perspective.

7) Commit to practicing gratitude

   Make an effort everyday to let others know you appreciate them.

8) Maintain a positive, grateful attitude

   Surround yourself around grateful people when possible and set a good example by maintaining a positive attitude even in difficult circumstances.

It’s always nice to find research that supports benefits of a happy life!

Harvard school of Public Health is doing some of their own. Check this out from 2011:

” Kubzansky is at the forefront of such research. In a 2007 study that followed more than 6,000 men and women aged 25 to 74 for 20 years, for example, she found that emotional vitality—a sense of enthusiasm, of hopefulness, of engagement in life, and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance—appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The protective effect was distinct and measurable, even when taking into account such wholesome behaviors as not smoking and regular exercise.” See full article here: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/happiness-stress-heart-disease

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True happiness and JOY is a manifestation of something deeper in our hearts. Check out this great resource from John MacArthur on “What is the Secret to Contentment?”

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