The Art of Gratitude

These times of economic stress may seem like a black cloud over one’s head, but in truth we always have much to be thankful for. A friend whose husband left her and her four children (for another woman) told me that at least she had her health and she was very grateful for that. Another friend called me last week to tell me she lost her job. While she was grieving the loss, she expressed her gratitude for a supportive group of friends and family. I have a dear friend named Mark, who, when I ask him how he’s doing, often replies, “ By American standards, fair. By world standards, quite excellent.” Perspective makes the art of gratitude a little easier. In times of loss (or unmet expectations) it’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves. Don’t deny yourself this human experience, but after 5-10 minutes start giving thanks for all the things going right in your world. This shift in attitude can help redirect your life. So…can you breath? Good! There are many people who are on respirators. Can you walk? Excellent! I have two friends who are paraplegics who cannot. By giving thanks for the small things we begin to open our hearts and find our way back to balance.

• Stress Tip for the Day:
Based on an exercise created by my friend Ilan Shamir, called “1,000 Things Went Right Today,” I often give people this exercise is my stress management seminars. Rather than asking for 1,000 I let them off easy and only ask for ten. Pull out a pad of paper and pen and start writing. If you come up with ten quickly, add another 20 items to your list. Then post it somewhere where you can see it regularly and remind yourself just how good you really have it.

• Links Worth Noting:
I have been a fan of the movie, The Sound of Music ever since my Grandmother took me to see it decades ago. A friend who knows I love the movie sent me this link. This is really quite remarkable, definitely a feel good video and make sure to watch it all the way to the end (I am guessing most of the people learned this before but there seems to be a few people who picked up the moves rather quickly.

• Photo of the Day:
I am very grateful that I had the chance to go to the island of St. Lucia (in the Caribbean) to do some filming for my upcoming movie, Earth Songs. Here is a photo of one of my favorite places on earth. Enjoy! By the way, I am also very grateful to all of you who read this blog (and even send email comments!). Thanks!
• Quote for the Day:
“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.”

Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his

© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

Brian Luke Seaward

Author Brian Luke Seaward

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  • One of my favorite little books is Attitude of Gratitude by Ryan. As a cancer survivor I wake up everyday realizing that today is another miracle / blessing and “today” will never happen again. I can choose how I will respond to this blessing and my attitude is what decides my first step.

    Years ago, I realized that the moments between consciousness and sleep are very special. This is my most creative time of the day, and it is also a time when I am still very close to my spirit / soul. At the instant I begin to wakeup, I have an opportunity to touch, in a semi-consciousness state, what I rarely touch during the day – me. And at this touch, my “new day” attitude gets a positive push from the specialness I call – me.

  • This post was highlighted in the April 17 edition of Gratitude Watch.Thank you for promoting the value of gratitude.

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