Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Gratitude Habit

They say it takes doing something seven times to establish a habit.  For me, it seems, it takes an entire year.  The particular habit that I set out to establish began with a thesis I decided to test out a little over a year ago.  My idea was that if I took time each day to reflect on the gifts and abundance in my life that it might just make a difference in my mood.

A year later.

It worked.  In fact, it started working immediately.  I have said it before, but a gratitude practice is a shortcut to happiness.  It just plain works. 

Not to trivialize the mood lifting ability of the gratitude practice, but what I didn’t bargain on is how wonderful it was to connect with each gratitude buddy throughout the year, how we doubled the gratitude as we shared in one another’s appreciation for the little things, and on occasion, the big things in life.  Sharing gratitudes offered a daily glimpse at another person’s internal life.  It was really lovely connecting in this way. 

There were some big things to celebrate, but most often my buddies and I expressed gratitude for the little things in life.  And what I came to believe is those little things are really not so little.  Those little things are what make life grand.  And acknowledging them allows you to experience them more deeply. 

I invite you to share your own expressions of gratitude with others this season at the website Express Your Gratitude.  In doing so you might even win a one hour massage session with me or another participating massage therapist.  

I invite you also to grab a gratitude buddy and try the practice on for yourself!  Now that I am firmly in the habit, I would happily exchange gratitude lists with anyone who wants to try it out. 

Wishing you balance,