KIMBERLY SNYDER: “The Amazing Healing Benefits of Gratitude”

Healing Benefits of Gratitude

If you’re alive and reading this, you have something to be grateful for.  That’s great news!  This post will give you support in practicing gratitude on a regular basis, so you can better heal yourself, while lowering stress and anxiety, enhancing your sleep, and improving your relationships.

The Healing Benefits of Gratitude

You may not realize that something as simple as expressing gratitude — something that costs nothing and takes very little time — can have such an impact on your health.   Yoga Masters have been teaching for centuries that gratitude is a key component of a happy, balanced and healthy life, but it’s nice to see that it’s in alignment with modern findings.  A comprehensive look at gratitude and its effects  [1]  showed that when you routinely appreciate others or even just the positive parts of your life, you can experience:

  —Less aggression  [2]

  —Heightened feelings of altruism, empathy, warmth, a greater desire to treat friends, family, and strangers with more kindness (you may even set off a chain of random acts of kindness!).  When someone does something nice for you, you’ll be inspired to pay it forward  [3]

  —Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, and more optimism  [4]

  —More trust in others 

  —Extra intrinsic motivation to do and achieve more  [5]

  —More satisfaction from relationships (romantic relationships also get a boost from gratitude!)  [6]

  —Better ability to deal with criticism/less sensitive to others’ negativity

  —Better sleep

  —Lowered likelihood of developing a drug or alcohol problem

  —Lowered risk of eating disorder (thanks to a healthier body image)

   —Quicker recovery from post-traumatic stress

 

The review suggests that there could actually be a causal relationship between gratitude and well-being.  That means increasing gratitude could directly enhance many different aspects of your life, most notably your health.  Could there be an easier, or more inexpensive way to enhance both your happiness and health?  (Okay, sometimes gratitude can be challenging when you’re feeling down — especially in the beginning–but with practice, it becomes much easier, I promise!)  Training yourself to think this way only takes a few minutes at a time, per day or even per week. Eventually, it will help shift your whole perspective on life in a much more positive way.

What Is Gratitude, Really?

That seems simple enough to answer, right?  You can feel gratitude when someone helps you out, but being thankful isn’t always related to another person.  Are you thankful for your warm clothes in the winter, even if you purchased them yourself?  What about your meals, even if you’re the one who has to prepare and cook them?

No matter what, you can focus more on the positive and choose to feel gratitude for anything, or anyone, at any time.  Once you get into the habit of consciously appreciating the positives around you, that attitude spreads over into the times when you aren’t actively practicing the feeling of thanks.  I do this when I walk down the street or wander into my backyard and gaze at the lemon tree.  I express gratitude every day for each and every unique, beautiful tree and plant I see.  I think we should all be more grateful for nature and her beauty every day!

Final note about the research. When comparing feelings of gratitude to other areas of the subjects’ lives in the studies, there were correlations between gratitude and:

  —Feelings of satisfaction with life in general

  —Feelings of living life to the fullest

  —More self-acceptance and personal growth 

  —A feeling of staying true to themselves

  —The belief that they have quality relationships in their lives

How to Practice This Universal Language

Learning to practice gratitude isn’t a long, drawn-out process.  You can start right now and begin noticing differences in how you feel and your outlook on life in just a few weeks, even if you’re not practicing daily.

Keep a gratitude journal.  At the end of the day or week, write down five things you’re grateful for.  This could be something as simple as being happy the weather was warm enough for you to hike before work earlier in the week or that your spouse did the dishes.  You can even be grateful for the lemons that you use to make your hot water with lemon in the morning, that fill you with beautifying vitamin C and enzymes!

Set an alarm on your phone that will go off periodically throughout the day.  Each time it goes off, stop to remind yourself of something you’re grateful for.

Don’t jump right out of bed at the sound of your morning alarm.  Take a minute to take a few deep breaths and think of a few things that you’re happy to have in your life or experience, whether it’s a beautiful sunrise or the warm blankets you have covering you.

Do something nice for someone else, family or stranger, even if it’s just giving them a compliment and thanking them for something they did.  Spreading joy and showing your appreciation for another human being not only brightens their mood, but yours, too!

Talk with your spouse or best friend at the end of the day about what you’re grateful for.  These daily talks are more interesting than asking if they took the trash out or fed the dog, and may open the door to strengthen your relationship, especially if you start naming things you’re grateful for in each other.

Leave little notes for yourself around the office or at home that remind you of the things you’re grateful for.  Running across those during a stressful moment could make you feel better.  Try sticking them on the top of your smoothie cup or one of the meals you’ve packed for the day.

Really think about what you’re thinking. No, that isn’t a typo.  Your thoughts affect your mood, and you’ll be happier if you’re thinking thoughts of gratitude!  When a negative thought crosses your mind (it happens to everyone, of course!), take a closer look at it.  Are you just feeling grumpy and turning your bad mood into one big growing ball of negativity?  Was your ego, the image and labels you hold about yourself, somehow wounded in some way?  Is there any truth in the thought that you can use to change your situation or use as a catalyst to turn your thought into something more positive?  Once you glean the useful bits from your negative thoughts, kick the rest and give your thoughts a more positive spin.  Here’s an example. Let’s say you tried something new and failed.  Instead of saying, “I’m a failure,” remind yourself that failing — sometimes multiple times — brings you closer to your goal.  It’s still progress and you can still learn from it.  And that’s something to be grateful for.

Tell someone that you appreciate them and why.  They’ll feel good, and so will you!

Start Today!

Use this today as a starting point for a lifetime of feelings of gratitude.  Your whole outlook on life will change once you give yourself that nudge, and you’ll feel better in so many different ways when you begin focusing on the positives.  Look at what you do have, be thankful, and strive to reach out to help other people and keep the goodwill going.

The goodness in your life will blossom in even more abundance as you do.

Now here’s my turn: I’m sending gratitude to YOU for being you and part of this wonderful community.

Love,

Kimberly

 

 

[References]:

[1] http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/pdfs/GratitudePDFs/2Wood-GratitudeWell-BeingReview.pdf
[2] http://spp.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/09/02/1948550611416675.abstract
[3] http://www.psy.miami.edu/faculty/mmccullough/Papers/Gratitude_CDPS_2008.pdf
http://www.socialemotions.org/page5/files/Bartlett.DeSteno.2006.pdf
[4] http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/Labs/emmons/PWT/index.cfm?Section=4
[5, 6] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01273.x/abstract

 

 

~Thanks to In5D.com – via KimberlySnyder.net

GUSTAVO CASTANER: “Soul Mate, Twin Flame… Who Cares?”

soul-mate-twin-flame-who-cares

Imagine if you had never heard of labels like ‘soul mate’, ‘twin flame” or ‘spiritual’, what would you look for in a relationship?  What values, qualities, principles and characteristics would your ideal partner have?”

~Gustavo Castaner

Quite often I get emails from people asking me how to manifest or attract their soul mate or twin flame.  Students will have sessions with me so that I can assist them fulfill this intent.  And even though I believe in soul mates and twin flames, the reality is these are still labels.  Labels that will often work against people when it comes to manifesting the best relationship they could ever have.  So the first thing I tell people who desire to manifest their soul mate is to drop this label, because when it comes to the equation of manifesting the relationship that is for their highest good, the label soul mate or twin flame is not really that important.  Think about it, if you could be with a man or woman that loves you, adores you, respects you, supports you, makes you feel safe, inspires passion within you, you are attracted/magnetized to his/her presence, you share many interests and you are happy with… would it really matter if he/she was your soul mate or twin flame?

I resonate with the idea that we all have various soul mates but not all are the romantic relationship type.  But even those soul mates that belong to the romantic relationship category are not always the best relationship for you.  I have witnessed people stay in unhealthy, dramatic and co-dependent relationships only because they believe the other person is their soul mate. Imagine if you had never heard of labels like “soul mate”, “twin flame” or “spiritual”, what would you look for in a relationship?  What values, qualities, principles and characteristics would your ideal partner have?  Would it be easier to determine what person is best for you if you did not have to answer the question “is he/she my soul mate”?

I have seen people fall in love with soul mates who live on the other side of the world and they end up having a distant relationship that most of the time turns out not working at all.  Would you prefer to meet your soul mate who lives on the other side of the world or have a loving partner who is by your side?  Then there are a few people who believe that their soul mate or twin flame currently is stationed in another dimension (often the 5th) and they state this is the reason why they are single.  This could be very well true, yet why would you limit yourself to not have a relationship here and now in the 3D?  Relationships are one of the greatest blessings and gifts we have to love, grow, learn, share and evolve.  I am sure that if your soul mate or twin flame is indeed waiting for you in another dimension he or she wouldn’t mind if you enjoyed having a relationship here and now.

It is my belief that I have met and been in a relationship with two different soul mates whom I later realized were not the best relationships for me in terms of life partnership yet still necessary ones for my own learning, healing and evolutionary process.  Today I’m engaged to my beloved Jenniffer, is she my soul mate or twin flame?  Who cares… she is the woman I love with all my heart and she is my life partner, our commitment to each other is very strong, we are happy together and have absolute certainty that we will stay together.  That is all that really matters.

The term soul mate, twin flame or spiritual are not determining factors when we have an argument or face a life challenge, rather it is the love we have towards each other beyond any labels and the tools and resources we have and can apply to learn, grow, heal and evolve that really make a difference in our relationship.  So if you haven’t met your soul mate or you are not sure if the person you are in a relationship with right now is your soul mate, who cares?!  Focus on attracting and manifesting the relationship that will offer you the greatest opportunities to love, be happy, share life’s blessings, learn, grow, contribute, connect, feel safe, feel unique and evolve.

 

 

~via AscendedRelationships.com

LUMINITA D. SAVIUC: “15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy”

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“The most important thing is to enjoy your life — to be happy — it’s all that matters.” 

~Audrey Hepburn

 

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier.  We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering — and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy — we cling on to them.  Not anymore.  Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change.  Ready?  Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right

There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong — wanting to always be right — even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others.  It’s just not worth it.  Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question:

“Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”  ~Wayne Dyer

What difference will that make?  Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you — situations, events, people, etc.  Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street — just allow them to be.  Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done.  The world is won by those who let it go.  But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning.”  ~Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame

Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel.  Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk

Oh my.  How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset?  Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you — especially if it’s negative and self-defeating.  You are better than that.

The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly.  Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.  ~Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs

Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible.  From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place.  Spread your wings and fly!

A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind.  ~Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining

Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things — people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed.  Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to.  It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it.  Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism

Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you.  We are all different, yet we are all the same.  We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood.  We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others

Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you.  It doesn’t work this way.  The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change

Change is good.  Change will help you move from A to B.  Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you.  Follow your bliss, embrace change — don’t resist it.

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.  ~Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels

Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little.  Minds only work when open.

The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.  ~Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears

Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist — you created it.  It’s all in your mind.  Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.

The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses

Send them packing and tell them they’re fired.  You no longer need them.  A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use.  Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past

I know, I know.  It’s hard.  Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have.  The past you are now longing for — the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present.  Stop deluding yourself.  Be present in everything you do and enjoy life.  After all life is a journey not a destination.  Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment

This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible.  You get better and better at with time and practice.  The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them — because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene.  You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying.  A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live.  They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them.  They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling.  They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives.  They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need… and eventually they forget about themselves.   You have one life — this one right now — you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

 

 

 

Luminita, the Founder of PurposeFairy.com, is an enthusiastic student of the arts, psychology, and spirituality. Her acclaimed blog post,15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy , was shared by over 1.3 million people on Facebook. Later on, it became the heart of her book, 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy., book that was published by Penguin Random House. For more details check out the 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy Book Page.

~via dreamcatcherreality.com