What You Appreciate, Appreciates

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The last two weeks, I have been writing about meditation and other forms of mindfulness practice as well as their many benefits. Today, I would like to share another mindful practice that is extremely rewarding and easy to implement. That practice is gratitude and what better day to write about it than on Thanksgiving.

Like mindfulness and meditation, gratitude has been the subject of recent research and boasts many similar benefits such as:

 

  • increased immunity, lower blood pressure and better sleep
  • reduced negative emotions and an all around happier state of being
  • Improved relationships
  • Feeling less lonely and isolated

According to dictionary.com, the definition of gratitude is :

the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful

and the definition of appreciation is:

  1. gratitude;thankful recognition
  2. an increase or rise in the value of property, goods, etc.

Notice that I have included the financial definition of appreciation. They say, “what we appreciate, appreciates” and I find this to be very true. When we are thankful, we are much more likely to notice more good about a person or situation, thus making us more thankful. I also believe that what we put our attention on grows. When you are grateful for something, your attention is focused on it ,which will help it appreciate.

When focusing on the positive in my life and giving thanks daily for those things, people, experiences and places, I draw more of them into my life. I’ve also noticed that when I try to find the good in a situation, no matter how difficult it may be, I feel much more positive and hopeful about it and am more likely to take positive action and be effective.

There are many simple ways to implement gratitude into your daily life. Remember that gratitude is a feeling, not just a thought. Therefore, feeling the joy and other positive emotions that gratitude brings are very important in order to get the most out of this practice and what make it so rewarding.

Here is a list of my favorite ways to practice gratitude in my daily life:

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  1. Wake up thankful – every morning, when I wake up, I think of 3 things I am thankful for that day. I take a minute to truly feel the joy that comes along with appreciation.
  2. Meals – I say a little prayer of gratitude before every meal. OK, maybe its not such a little prayer. I actually get pretty detailed here. I specifically give thanks for all that contributed to the meal, including the elements of nature, the food specifically (I give extra special thanks to the animal if there is meat involved). I thank any person that handled the food on its way to my plate including farmers, store clerks, delivery people etc. I then thank myself for purchasing and preparing the food (or whoever purchased and prepared the food) and last but not least, I thank all of my clients, who provided me with the income to purchase the food. I then ask that my body be nourished, and that it may easily absorb any of the nutrients found in the food. I really love this practice because there are so many people and elements involved and it helps me feel connected to the world on a larger level.
  3. Gratitude Journal – This is a practice that I got from my sister, Jessica, who had been doing it for a while and related all of the wonderful benefits to me. Every night, before bed, I write 2 pages of gratitude in my journal. The first page includes things that presently exist in my life. The second page includes things that I have not yet manifested. The intention here is that by putting positive attention on my desires, it will help draw them to me. I’ve been doing this nightly for a while now and have to say I am so grateful for my written practice of gratitude as it really has changed my outlook, helped me be more positive and it has even helped me narrow down what it is I really want out of life and why.
  4. Looking for the silver lining – This one is easier said than done, however I find that when practiced consistently, it makes a big difference in how we handle the inevitable challenges of life. Whenever something happens to me that I would normally label as bad or unfortunate, I try to find the good in the situation. I’m sure you’ve all experienced blessing in disguise at some point in your life. Something bad happens, and later it turns out that it led to something amazing. I like to think of all the negative events in my life as blessings in disguise. Sometimes when I do this, I am actually able to see how they might benefit me, other times I just have to stay hopeful that somehow they will. I do know that with every experience comes a lesson, and the hardest experiences tend to be the best teachers. So even if I can’t truly find anything to appreciate about a situation, I do my best to give thanks for the lesson that is inherent, even if I have not yet figured out what it is.

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Please remember that part of what makes gratitude practices so wonderful, are the actual feelings of joy and happiness that are inherent in them. Whenever you are giving thanks, make sure to take a moment to truly feel the appreciation in your body and enjoy all of its health giving benefits.

If you’d like to comment or share any of your gratitude practices, I would love to hear about them. Please comment below.

Happy Thanksgiving, today and every day!!!

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© Copyright 2014 Vanessa Naja/Holistic Moving

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2 Responses to What You Appreciate, Appreciates

  1. Rochelle says:

    Well I had a major surgery last week on Wednesday and what going to be a 1 hour surgery turned into a 3 hour surgery. I came out of the surgery fine and the procedure was a full and complete success. I then went to my parent house to recover but that wasn’t the case. In fact my sister whom is a demonic alcoholic was very verbally abusive in her language when speakibg to me. In fact that if I didn’t gave a strong spiritual foundation and relationship with the creator of all thibgs and itz universe I kno for sure that I wouldn’t have been pull through my surgery with great success. Before; I wrnt into surgery I opened up my Daily Word and I turned to the day of the surgery was on which was Wednesday Novembet 19, 2014 and the theme was “Success”. So I read it out loud for everyone who cared for me to hear and all the the nurses eere slso aclaiming my successful surgery as well. However, having to recover at my paent home and dealing with my sister’s very sick, n unhealthy demonic spirit I couldn’t phantom the though of stayin not 1 more night there so I ended up leave very last that Saturday night against my parent wishes and deep inside my mom understood whole heartedly why I had to leave. The day before thanksgiving I told my family that I wasn’t coming over to my mom’s house due the disrespectful nezz that my sister showed toward me. It really hurt my feeling because Anything could have gone terribly wrong and I couldn’t have been here today. Moving forward: I went to celebrated Thanksgiving with my mom and my sister’s. After eating I decided to take my dog zeven out for a walk and as Im leaving my 3 oldest sister decided to join me. As we began to leave I tell my sister tgat our distination is unknown and is she ok with that. Her reply was yes. So We’re walking in Emeryville California and we get to San Pablo and devided to turn left. As we continue to walk down San Pablo here drives up a car and the gengleman ask my sister and if we would like some Thanksgiving food. Our response was yes please. The gentleman looked familiar like someone highly famous and when I shared that with him he repeated it and new that I was right. He gets out his car and hand me the bag of groceries. He was in complete shock that he knew that I was on to him and that I knew exactly who he was. He smile and if to let me know not to draw any attention to him because itz not about being famous but truly and only about being thankful and grateful to be able to give back to others. The moral of my story is this; had I not had my Daily Word and open it up to the theme for that day which was Success, wonderful healthy nurses and doctors caring for me during and after my surgery, celebrating Thanksgiving with my family and deciding
    to go for that walk with my dog and my
    sister; n distination totally unknown, n last
    but most important obeying the spirit of
    the creator, I would have indeed missed
    out on that blessing and giving the opportunity to recieve such a wonderful gift.

    gratefulness to meet a very kind and gracious gentlemen. If your in wonder of who this famous kind gentlemen was will here’s your clue: he play in the movie with RB Hip Hop singer Alliyah in ‘Romeo Must Die” as her father. Yez you are right. I’ve learned over the years that the only thing that the creator requies of all mankind is to be thankful and greateful. Because you may never know who may appoach you
    and bless you with their blessing of love. I am also a firm Believer that Nothing in this life Is some random coincidences…Everything hapoens for a reason. If I hadn’t gone to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family and my sister and I walking in that particular direction, and my sister and I taking my dog for a
    walk then I surely would have missed that wonder of a rel treat and blessed. All things are truly Possible if you are grateful, faithful, and believe. Never stop being thankful and watch your blessings pour down like rain. Happy Holiday To All and a Prosperous Year 😊!

    peace!

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