This week, I’d like to share with the you the concept of ‘Gratitude’.

This is something I’ve written about in the past, and I know you may already have some sort of gratitude practice. I’m just bringing it up again, because I see that many people appear to be experiencing pain in their hearts these days, and I just want to reach out and give everyone big hugs to help ease the pain.

While I’m not able to reach you with my arms, I’m hoping I can reach you with my words and lend a few more tools for your healthcare tool bag this week. The concept of sharing what we’re grateful for isn’t new for most of you…. Oprah talks about it, Brene Brown talks about it, and I’m sure people hear about it in their own environments. I find that reminders are good for myself, so that means it’s probably good for everyone else, as well, especially when we feel like things are down and dark. So, consider this a reminder…..

Several years ago, I happened across an episode of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’. It was a segment about a woman who’d unexpectedly lost her husband and was having a hard time getting through her day, due to her deep level of sadness. She came upon the concept of a ‘Gratitude Journal’ and decided to try it. She said that the only thing that she could be thankful for in that moment was her breath. So she wrote that down and started with what she could that day. The next day she realized that she was grateful for her breath AND that she had a home. From there, through her deep sadness, she found that she could still find things to be grateful for in her world. This ended up being one of the tools that she used to rebuild her life.

I’ve found that, when I’m feeling hopeless, sad, or overwhelmed, if I can take even 30 seconds to take a scan of my life and acknowledge what’s going well, it helps to shift my state-of-mind. This ranges from gratitude for having a peaceful night of sleep, that I have a warm home, all the way to…. I have food to eat, my health and my family.

We call this an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’….this concept that, when we’re grateful, the universe brings us more of what we’re grateful for. It’s the law of attraction. We get more of what we focus upon. 

Here are a few ideas to help with bringing more gratitude into your life:

1. Easiest…. take 10 seconds once a day, close your eyes, and find 3 things that you’re grateful for. If you can’t think of anything, start with gratitude for your breath, for having a home, for being alive, etc.

2. Start a ‘Gratitude Journal’. This can simply be a notebook that costs you 60 cents or a fancier book  that guides you through a process. Writing helps to anchor those feelings of joy and gratitude.

3. If you’re really having a hard time finding things to be grateful for, make a list for yourself that you can put on your bathroom mirror that will be there, in your face, no matter how grey you may be feeling.

I invite you to try one (or all) of the above suggestions. If you’re feeling like life is hard or you don’t feel like you have ‘enough’, try the ‘Gratitude’ exercises mentioned above.

I do this before I fall asleep at night and when I wake up in the morning…..and sometimes during the day when I’m feeling negative or angry. I find that it changes my frame of mind very quickly!

I hope this helps moving into the week of Thanksgiving, here in the US…..I didn’t even realize that this email coincides with our holiday week!

Love and hugs from beautiful, snowy New Mexico

Dr. Arjan

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