The Life Changing Magic of Gratitude

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Practicing gratitude on a daily basis is a powerful habit to adopt, and one that can be life-changing. When bad news infiltrates our daily lives at an alarming rate through social media and news, it’s especially important to consciously practice gratitude.

What you place your attention on grows – I am a firm believer in this. Place your attention on what’s wrong in your life, and you will (I promise), get more of it. Thoughts are powerful – thoughts create our reality, and when we train them to focus on what’s great in our lives, they will naturally look for more of the same.

But, how can we feel grateful in the face of despair, sadness, and grief? I have found that I can still feel those emotions and practice gratitude at the same time. Practicing gratitude doesn’t wipe out important human emotions, it simple puts them into context. I can still feel sad and grateful – and that’s sometime a healthy emotional state. However, practicing gratitude always wipes out feelings of anger and particularly self-pity. Ugh, self-pity is one of the most pervasive and unattractive states that I can ever find myself in. I watch for this emotion like a hawk because if I’m in self-pity, I have become a victim. Victim mentality gets me nowhere – it actually takes away from who I really am, and disables me from being of  any use to others. NOT what I came here for!

Notice I say “practice” gratitude. This is because it doesn’t always come naturally, right? I have to practice it as I do yoga, prayer or meditation. And, the more I do it, the easier it becomes.

Tips for practicing gratitude:

  1. Gratitude List: This is one of the best because once it’s in black & white, there is no denying the blessings I have in my life.
  2. Acknowledging Others: I love to do this, especially when I don’t feel like it. When I acknowledge my husband (when I’m in a bad mood or mad at him), it immediately softens me back to seeing him for the wonderful man he really is!
  3. Last Thoughts: When I lay my head on the pillow, I always think of at least 10 things I am super grateful for. It is the best way to combat insomnia too.
  4. Thank you: When I am driving to work in the morning and all of a fluster, I try to remember to turn off the radio and just say out loud (or silently if others are in the car), “THANK YOU!” It changes my day.

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Sophie Uliano is New York Times best-selling author and leading expert in the field of natural health and beauty, who takes a down-to-earth approach to beauty focusing on what's truly healthy. Join my masterclass to get started.