The power of gratitude and how it can change your life

Gratitude is more than a word – it's a process. In this article wellbeing expert Dr Kyle Neeley discusses why gratitude is so important and how applying it in your everyday life can improve your health and happiness.

By embracing the concept of gratitude we can incorporate this action into our lives in bigger and better ways, with dramatic results. Our lives are able to change almost overnight, when we can live this principle to its fullest extent.

Everything in our life revolves around expectations that we have for ourselves, our families, friends, events we attend, and our work environments.

It's so easy in today’s life to forget to slow down just a little and realise that most of our pain comes from unmanaged expectations of how we personally believe that things will ultimately turn out in our daily lives.

Howevever, adjusting our expectations and focusing on being grateful for what we have – can help us feel happier and more content each day.

Gratitude in action

Let me show you what I mean. I'll start with relaying a story that I'm telling second hand, where a son is going to buy his mother a car.

When she wakes in the morning he tells her the good news and she instantly replies: "That is just wonderful, I love it!”.

The son exclaims: “Mom, I have not even bought it for you yet – how could you say you love it?”. She explained that how could even a rust bucket not be wonderful since it is a gift from her son, and no matter what it was she knew, she would already love whatever showed up.

"A funny thing occurs when we are grateful for all things in our life. Our life starts to yield more good things because that is what takes our focus."

This little anecdote helps to illustrate that the mother had already made a choice that the outcome would be in her highest and best good. And of course, when the car arrived, she loved it as she had earlier envisioned.

How many of us go through our daily life focusing on what did not turn out just right, instead of focusing on being grateful for all things that have occurred?

A funny thing occurs when we are grateful for all things in our life. Our life starts to yield more good things because that is what takes our focus.

It is this focus that helps to manifest our greatest dreams and desires. That dream and desire may be to own a spa or swim spa, have a great cup of coffee, lunch with a friend, or travel somewhere.

But the process that makes it all the more powerful is being grateful. So, for a one week trial, start upon waking in taking a few minutes to be grateful for everything that you envision touching you during the day.

"For a one week trial, start upon waking in taking a few minutes to be grateful for everything that you envision touching you during the day."

Get up and be grateful for your house, your car, your ability to be alive, to have a job or profession, and make note of saying 'thank you' to everyone who touches you in some way.

Remind the barista that the coffee is great, the checkout person at the cash register in the supermarket – apply it in every aspect of your life.

At first, you will do this verbally to those appropriate and expand it more quietly in your mind. Take as many people on the journey as you can, and explain to others about your trial experience.

Who knows, the one you share the concept with may be so impressed that it adds significantly to your own life.

"Be grateful for your time, your life, the people in it, and the things that are part of your journey."

If you already own a spa, remember to see it as something that keeps giving better health the more you use it.

Be grateful that you are one of the lucky ones who can relax and enjoy this moment for a choice you had made when you bought the spa. That can transform the inanimate object into a vehicle of Joy and Peace.

Be grateful for your time, your life, the people in it, and the things that are part of your journey.

If you miss being grateful for all things, many times you find that people miss being grateful for you. That is the greatest loss of all.

I am grateful that you have taken the time to share a moment with me – for this, I am grateful.

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not – remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for."
Epicurus – Greek philosopher (341–270 BC)

Gratitude – an ancient concept that's more important now than ever

Epicureanism is the term associated with fine food. The word is derived from the Greek philosopher, Epicurus, whose life's work focused on helping people be more grateful.

Take a minute and Google who is Epicurus. You might find that someone from long ago knew more about gratefulness than we have forgotten.

Here's a challenge for those who want more from their lives – try being completely immersed in gratefulness and see where it can take you. For those with spas, turn on all the jets and be swept away!

By Dr Kyle Neeley

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