Happy New Year’s for 2014: Goals of Gratitude

As we approach a New Year, we tend to make resolutions such as weight loss or we promise ourselves to either join a gym or begin a new exercise program. Instead of making these types of resolutions, I thought we could bring in the New Year with the thoughts of gratitude of what we have and what we cherished in 2013. Life can become very hectic at times, and it is easy to lose sight of what is truly important to us. Life can be a roller coaster ride such that we can lose our focus of things and people we are grateful to have in our lives.

What does gratitude mean? It has a different meaning for everyone. It could be just being thankful, acknowledging everything you have, or counting your blessings. It is not just the words “Thank You”.

People tend to take for granted the good that is in their lives such as their home, the ability to talk, see, hear, or, for that matter, anything that gives you joy. True appreciation comes from within you. When you truly mean it, it can definitely have a major positive impact in your life and can improve your own quality of life. When someone expresses him or herself, it not only impacts the receiver but it also benefits the person giving his or her appreciation. Each day gives us a new chance to make a difference in the world and to help ourselves and others to develop a habit of appreciating everything we have instead of looking only at the things we do not have.

You may ask yourself: how can the simple gesture of gratitude affect me and give me examples of how it can make a big difference in my life?

Research shows expressing your gratitude to others can make people:

  • Happy
  • Improves your health and immune system
  • Decreases depression and stress
  • Makes you more resilient and optimistic
  • Increases your energy and enthusiasm
  • Strengthens all relationships such as work, family, or friends

Why have Gratitude? It reminds us of:

  • What is really important in your life and not to take others for granted
  • How it is so easy to complain and identify what is wrong with our lives (negative) and instead recognize how positive it is when you are reminded of all that is good in your life (positive), which may be your family, your job, or that you simply have shelter
  • The importance of cultivating a habit of gratitude in order to help you move to a deeper level of appreciation of being alive. It also helps you to appreciate and raise your awareness to your surroundings.

How do you learn to cultivate gratitude as a part of your everyday life?

  • Create a morning or evening ritual of spending 1 to 5 minutes closing your eyes and being still. In these moments of stillness, think of who or what you have that you are grateful for.
  • Write a Gratitude letter to someone who made a difference in your life and read it to them, face to face.
  • If you think of all that is negative, stop yourself for a moment and work to reverse your thinking. Use these negative thoughts to remind you of what you are grateful for and turn your attention to those positive thoughts instead.
  • Take one minute of your time to do something for others. Remember: when someone does something, no matter how small, such as a simple act of smiling, calling someone, texting them, or simply saying “thank you”, it can make someone feel so important—for we all like to be appreciated and recognized.
  • As a reminder, find an item that you can carry with you or put up Post-It Notes® to remind you of the new gratitude habit.
  • Give a genuine compliment to those people whom you encounter throughout the day who have the tendency to be overlooked and underappreciated, such as your bus driver, maid, or an elderly person.
  • Listen to someone who really has the need to express themselves without any judgment, opinions or distraction.
  • When someone gossips about another person, do your best to give a compliment about the person who is being talked about.
  • Show more patience with someone who is having trouble thinking or communicating.
  • Simply smile at someone and say how nice they look today.
  • Begin journaling every day about one to five things you are grateful for.
  • Give compliments and recognition to those who have done good work or deeds.
  • Spend time with your animals, for they are the epitome of showing us unconditional love.

As you can see, it is not all that difficult once you put your mind to it. It does not cost you anything to express and act with a sense of gratitude. You will find that the smallest things can make all the difference in not only your life but in the lives of others.

At this time in our lives, gratitude is what the world needs to bring us closer together and unify mankind. We cannot lose sight of what we all have already. Having gratitude can help us to build upon our foundation and spread this gratitude habit to enable us to pay it forward to our brothers and sisters. It also helps us to show the next generation that the key to success and happiness is not just the monetary objects, but it is our spirit to do things for others which will make the difference for generations to follow.

I ask each and every one of you to fill that void that is in each of us, to recognize that there are things in your life right now that you can begin to appreciate. All you have to do is open your eyes and use your five senses (taste, touch, smell, vision, hearing) in your own surroundings. See your children, your pets, your home, your health, your job, or even the food on your plate and take a moment to say “thank you” quietly to yourself. Then share the gratitude you feel with others.

Let us begin and sustain a new habit of Gratitude for 2014 in order for us to remain healthy and become more successful!

I am so grateful to all of you for helping me spread the word of GRATITUDE!!!

Dr. Christina

  • Posted By: DRC Editor
  • Tags: a happy new year benefits of gratitude better life count your blessings cultivating gratitude Dr Christina Charbonneau Dr. Christina Dr. Christina Goldstein-Charbonneau gratitude happiness how to feel gratitude new year New Year's resolutions power of gratitude ways to be happier what is gratitude
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