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The Awe of Appreciation

July 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 220

"Be consistent with your gratitude practice, and you'll be awed by the number of your blessings." Lisa Ryan

Would it interest you to learn a simple practice that takes less than five minutes a day and will change your life for the better? If you knew this little "secret," would you do it?

In October of 2009, I discovered a magic practice when I started keeping a gratitude journal. Every day, first thing in the morning, I wrote down three to five things for which I was grateful. Over time, it became a habit. You've probably heard that it takes twenty-one days for form a habit - and, yes, the routine of practicing gratitude is no exception.

Whether you believe this will work or not, give it a try. My journaling practice was begun without expectations. It was simply something that a few friends and I decided to do on a daily basis. We held each other accountable to insure that we shared our blessings every day. It was easy to do (some days more than others), didn't take a lot of time, and it felt good. So why not 'just do it.'

You may be thinking, "My plate is so full right now, I cannot put another 'to-do' on my list." Consider this - what if it actually works? Not long after I began journaling, I noticed that circumstances in my life were changing. I was in medical sales at the time, and customers that I hadn't talked to for months started calling me. Two of the accounts I had been working on for almost five years closed effortlessly. My husband became more verbally appreciative. My life was working and I was on a roll.

When I stopped to consider why all of these positive things were happening, I realized that the ONLY thing that I was doing differently was keeping my gratitude journal. Hmm, maybe there's something more to this journaling process than just feeling good about counting my blessings.

Research shows that gratitude is more than a feel-good emotion. In study after study, gratitude is found to change our perspective and the way we evaluate what happens in our lives. Gratefulness has a physical impact - it strengthens our heart, bolsters our immune system, and gives us more restful sleep. Relationships improve and we all get along better. Business also benefits from thankfulness. When employees and customers feel appreciated, they stick around longer and are more productive and profitable. Expressing thanks positively affects us in all areas of life.

The key is to start writing your 'gratitudes' down in a journal. Whether you write in the morning or evening doesn't matter. Whatever works for you is just fine. Also, don't be concerned about journaling for pages and pages. A gratitude journal can be as simple as writing down five sentences that begin with "I am grateful for... " Take two minutes to write your sentences, and another three minutes to contemplate what you just wrote - getting into the experience of the emotion of gratitude. These five minutes will potentially be your BEST five minutes of the day

I have to confess, sometimes life just gets in the way and my gratitude practice goes on hiatus. The thing is, I KNOW what I'm supposed to be doing, and then I don't do it. Not surprisingly, my life doesn't work as well when I get away from my few minutes in daily appreciation - I get irritated easily, I feel overwhelmed, and I question myself about the path I have chosen. However, the instant I get back at it, everything gets better.

Are you someone who used to keep a gratitude journal but got away from it? Remember back to the time that you were spending those precious moments in thankfulness. I'll bet your memories are good ones. Why not take some time right now and write down three things you are glad to have in your life. (Really, stop and do this now). Feel better? I thought you would.

Have fun,


Gratitude is a PRACTICE, so you don't have to be PERFECT. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are and you'll be happier - guaranteed.

Lisa Ryan is the Chief Appreciation Strategist with Grategy. She is a keynote speaker, gratitude expert, and author of "The Upside of Down Times: Discovering the Power of Gratitude" and she is featured in the documentary, "The Keeper of the Keys" with Jack Canfield, Marci Shimoff, and John Gray.

Learn more about Lisa Ryan at

Source: EzineArticles
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