Tag: gratitude

GratiTuesday – January 14th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Hello GratiTuesday. Some folks favor facts. I get it. The nerd in me appreciates science and scientific research just as much as the nerd in you. It might surprise you to learn that research on the benefits of practicing gratitude has been going on for a while now.

For example, I located an article by researcher Heather Craig, BPsySc, of Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, on the Positive Psychology website – https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-research/ – listing (among many other items) “8 Interesting Facts and Statistics on Gratitude,” going as far back as 2002!

Check them out… Fun Facts and Statistics about Gratitude:

  • In a study of over 800 descriptive trait words, “grateful” was rated in the top four percent in terms of likeability (Watkins et al., 2003).
  • The Big 5 [proven health benefits] only accounted for approximately 30% of the variance in the disposition of gratitude (McCullough et al., 2002).
  • A 5-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term wellbeing by more than 10% (Happier Human, 2018)
  • Keeping a gratitude journal caused participants to report:
    • 16% fewer physical symptoms
    • 19% more time exercising
    • 10% less physical pain
    • 8% more sleep, and
    • 25% increased sleep quality (Happier Human, 2018)
  • A gratitude journal lowered depressive symptoms for 30% or more for as long as the practice was continued (Happier Human, 2018)
  • Patients with hypertension were instructed to count their blessings once a week. There was a significant decrease in their systolic BP (Happier Human, 2018).
  • A survey has found that over 90% of American teens and adults indicated that expressing gratitude made them “extremely happy” or “somewhat happy” (Wood et al., 2010).
  • In a relationship study over 2 weeks, out of 1768 daily reports, individuals indicated that their partner did something thoughtful for them 698 times and that they did something thoughtful for their partner 601 times (Algoe et al., 2010).

A gratitude journal lowered depressive symptoms for 30% or more for as long as the practice was continued.” (Happier Human, 2018)

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful for fun facts. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: _________________________________________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #scienceofgratitude #positivepsychology

GratiTuesday – January 7th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Happy GratiTuesday. Here’s the thing about gratitude. It isn’t terribly complicated. Nor is it all that hard to do… be grateful. When we find ourselves facing challenging circumstances, loss, or despair, gratitude – even faked gratitude! – can begin to turn things around for us. The trick of it is to practice gratitude regularly. In other words, consistency is king.

Why do you think I write about gratitude each week? This writing is part of my regular gratitude practice. It is my weekly gratitude reboot.

Perhaps you could do with a gratitude reboot, too. For your consideration, sneak a peak at this short two minute video produced by Tremendousness – tremendo.us – “The Science of Gratitude,” https://youtu.be/JMd1CcGZYwU

Research shows that an “attitude of gratitude” can measurably improve your overall well-being.”

The good folks at Tremendousness also whipped up a sweet info-graphic with images and bullet points you may find useful: https://www.tremendo.us/work/tremendousness-the-science-of-gratitude/

  • Savor the positive – small ‘victories’ count, too!
  • Share the love – express your gratitude
  • Just be kind – it comes with its own feedback loop
  • Try some form of meditation – even a few minutes of mindful breathing brings benefit
  • Keep a Daily Gratitude Journal – the mundane is just as powerful as the extraordinary

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful for a sweet infographic. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #scienceofgratitude #tremendo

GratiTuesday – December 31st

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Celebrating GratiTuesday with full intention and a full heart for this Tuesday, this day, right here and right now. At this time of year there is a tendency to project into our future, or to review our past. Many of us draft lists of resolutions and goals for the year ahead. While others look back analyzing their progress. There is nothing inherently wrong with either activity. Float your boat.

My invitation for you on this day, right here and right now, is to consider adopting – or expanding – a Present Moment Gratitude Practice. For example, sneak a peak at http://simplebyemmy.com/gratitude/ . Emily McDermott, Simple by Emmy, notes that, “Gratitude is an excellent tool that I can use throughout the day to help me refocus on what the present moment is, instead of (what I) wish it would be.”

Below are five ways you can bring your focus on gratitude to the present moment:

  1. Be specific about something that you are grateful for in that moment, rather than something general.
  2. Use “habit stacking” to incorporate gratitude into your daily habits and rhythms. (ie., stack a bit of gratitude consciousness during your habitual activities, like brushing your teeth)
  3. Express gratitude in your head, write it down, or share it with someone.
  4. Express gratitude when it’s the hardest.
  5. When you want to escape, use the Notes app (in your phone) instead.

Gratitude is an excellent tool that I can use throughout the day to help me refocus on what the present moment is, instead of (what I) wish it would be.”

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful for this present moment. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #emilymcdermott #presentmoment

GratiTuesday – December 24th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Celebrating GratiTuesday in loving memory of Ram Dass (1931 – 2019.) Baba Ram Dass was an American spiritual teacher, academic and clinical psychologist, and author of many books, including the 1971 book Be Here Now.

Be here now. A potent re-minder to remain in the present moment, even amidst the flux and flurry swirling around us. Like a snowstorm, the holiday season can blow in and through our lives, leaving us exhausted… or exhilarated! It all depends upon perspective. Draw narrow our field of vision into the experience unfolding, moment by moment, right in front of us. Be here now.

Yet, this can be challenging. Doubly so during the holiday season, a time of year many make pilgrimage to family homesteads to celebrate togather (not a typo.) Need I say more? Perhaps instead I will share Ram Dass’ method for appreciating the people around him, as they are, right here, right now.

… when you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying, ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”

I love this notion of imagining people are trees. I love trees. Trees are so easy to be with. I love people, too. Although not all are easy… Until I look at them and see their treeness. I may not be easy for some. If it helps, appreciate me as you would a tree.

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful for all the trees I’ve ever known. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________ laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #ramdass

GratiTuesday – December 17th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Celebrating GratiTuesday all day here, doncha’ know. Truth be told, been celebrating gratitude with a holiday season theme for the past few days. Today is day four, counting from one to twelve for this holiday season’s Twelve Days of Gratitude. This is one way I have found to slow down during what is often a hectic time of year.

Yeah, sure we are four days into it, if you are counting down to December 25th. However, not everyone marks that particular calendar day as special. Besides who says this practice must be used to count down to a holiday. One could count down to a birthday or anniversary of some kind. We might even start or end each month with Twelve Days of Gratitude.

Consider the twelve prompts below. Consider interpreting each prompt in your own way. Consider coming up with your own set of twelve prompts. Consider revisiting Twelve Days of Gratitude often throughout the coming year.

  • The First Day of Gratitude – Start a Gratitude Journal
  • The Second Day of Gratitude – Be thankful for all you have
  • The Third Day of Gratitude – Be content with who you are
  • The Fourth Day of Gratitude – Be grateful for those around you
  • The Fifth Day of Gratitude – Model gratitude to your children
  • The Sixth Day of Gratitude – Be generous to a stranger
  • The Seventh Day of Gratitude – Be kind to someone in need
  • The Eighth Day of Gratitude – Count the blessings of your good health
  • The Ninth Day of Gratitude – Hug a far-away-friend with a call, text, email, tweet
  • The Tenth Day of Gratitude – Remember those who support you
  • The Eleventh Day of Gratitude – Reflect on the past year’s ‘little victories’
  • The Twelfth Day of Gratitude – Be present

I AM so happy and grateful for kind, considerate and helpful neighbors with snowplows and shovels.”

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful for kind, considerate and helpful neighbors with snowplows and shovels. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ________________________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #12daysofgratitude

GratiTuesday – December 10th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ A Happy GratiTuesday to All!

Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things”

While driving along in the car this afternoon, out-loud-listing all the “things” I am grateful for (yeah, I really do do this like every time I get behind the wheel), these lyrics popped into my head. So I sang the song – what I could remember – and decided that yes, these are a few of my favorite things. What’s more, when I list a few of my favorite things – whatever they may be from day to day – what do you know, this activity never fails to lift me up and… “Then I don’t feel so bad.”

Check it out: https://youtu.be/0IagRZBvLtw
My Favorite Things”, Rodgers and Hammerstein, performed by Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music”.

I challenge you to not sing along. Happily hoping this song settles in as your daily ear-worm. (wink-wink)

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful now for YouTube. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #rodgersandhammerstein #julieandrews #soundofmusic #myfavoritethings

GratiTuesday – December 3rd

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Hello GratiTuesday! Have you meditated yet today? Or ever? Meditation-Newbies often find guided meditation a welcome introduction to this form of mindfulness practice. Whether you are new to meditation, or have a long-standing meditation practice, consider exploring guided meditations. And yeah, there’s an app for that.

The Insight Timer app for smartphones is available as a free download for both iPhone and Android. You can also visit Insight Timer on the internet. In fact, to get directly to their webpage devoted to “Guided Meditation for Gratitude,” follow the link: https://insighttimer.com/meditation-topics/gratitude

Consciously focusing on gratitude during meditation can lead to greater emotional well-being and physical health.”

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful now for easy smartphone access to guided meditations anytime, anywhere. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: ____________________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #insighttimer #gratitudemeditation

GratiTuesday – November 25th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ It’s GratiTuesday! Just a few days away from the annual ‘GratiThursday’ holiday celebrated in the U.S. known as Thanksgiving. Rather than review historical fallacies it may be more useful to focus on a few options for actually giving thanks.

TED Talks to the rescue. I love TED!… exploring TED… and their collection of “ideas worth spreading.” This week’s feature is a collection of TED-Talks-videos compliled by TEDdy – Daryl Chen“Your 5-day Gratitude Challenge: 5 Exercises to Increase Your Gratefulness.” Watch ‘em all! https://ideas.ted.com/your-5-day-gratitude-challenge-from-ted/

  • Challenge #1: Take a photo every day of something you’re thankful for
  • Challenge #2: In your transactions with cashiers, baristas and others, take the time to look them in the eye and really thank them
  • Challenge #3: Put up gratitude “stop signs” in your life.
  • Challenge #4: Write a eulogy for a loved one — while they’re still alive — and give it to them.
  • Challenge #5: Be honest about the thanks you’d like to hear from the people in your life

Your 5-day Gratitude Challenge: 5 Exercises to Increase Your Gratefulness.”

Pick one… or more… or follow your own intuition for a personal Gratitude Challenge.

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful to share my devotion to gratitude each week. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: _________________________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #TED #GratitudeChallenge

GratiTuesday – November 19th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Hello GratiTuesday. Came across a (somewhat blurry) video, “Be Thankful for What We Have” [https://youtu.be/xJUXjkQNCRc], featuring motivational speaker and Australian Christian evangelist, Nicholas James Vujicic, addressing a group of high school students. He said something that really struck me. He said, “It’s a lie to think that you’re not good enough. It’s a lie to think that you’re not worth anything.” This truth is particularly poignant at this time of year. For many, the holiday season can be fraught by anxieties, loneliness and despair. I know. I have been there.

However, if you haven’t ‘been there’, or know someone who appears to have the ‘holiday blues’, consider exploring this WebMd article, “Holiday Depression and Stress.” [https://www.webmd.com/depression/holiday-depression-stress#1] In addition to describing potential causes, this article also provides a list of tips for coping with holiday stress and depression which, while seemingly obvious, are useful reminders for everyone. My favourite is number 17.

19 tips for coping with holiday stress and depression:
1. Make realistic expectations for the holiday season.
2. Set realistic goals for yourself.
3. Pace yourself. Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle.
4. Make a list and prioritize the important activities. This can help make holiday tasks more manageable.
5. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do.
6. Do not put all your energy into just one day (i.e., Thanksgiving Day, New Year’s Eve). The holiday cheer can be spread from one holiday event to the next.
7. Live and enjoy the present.
8. Look to the future with optimism.
9. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and sadness by comparing today with the good old days of the past.
10. If you are lonely, try volunteering some time to help others.
11. Find holiday activities that are free, such as looking at holiday decorations, going window shopping without buying, and watching the winter weather, whether it’s a snowflake or a raindrop.
12. Limit your drinking, since excessive drinking will only increase your feelings of depression.
13. Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way.
14. Spend time with supportive and caring people.
15. Reach out and make new friends.
16. Make time to contact a long-lost friend or relative and spread some holiday cheer.
17. Make time for yourself!
18. Let others share the responsibilities of holiday tasks.
19. Keep track of your holiday spending. Overspending can lead to depression when the bills arrive after the holidays are over. Extra bills with little budget to pay them can lead to further stress and depression.

“It’s a lie to think that you’re not good enough. It’s a lie to think that you’re not worth anything.” ~ Nick Vujicic

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful to know and value my inherent worthiness. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: _______________________ #laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #NickVujicic #holidayblues

GratiTuesday – November 12th

Hello Yoga-Friends ~ Another GratiTuesday… Throughout Native American Heritage Month I have been exploring the many ways multitudes of indigenous peoples and their cultures have been – and continue to be – exploited. More importantly, I have been ‘listening to native voices’ share their wisdom for ways to abolish historic and contemporary cultural appropriation and support – or appreciate – their rich cultural traditions.

One source for this endeavor is found in an online article posted November 21, 2018, by Simon Moya-Smith, on Vice.com. The piece is called, “100 Ways to Support—Not Appropriate From—Native People.” Moya-Smith entreats us to become allies for Indigenous peoples and offers an extensive list of do’s and don’ts. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pa5a3m/how-to-be-an-ally-to-native-americans-indigenous-people

Throughout this exploration an ubiquitous phrase caught my attention. That phrase is “appreciation versus appropriation.” My research led me to a post by Kelsey Holmes, of Greenheart.org, “Cultural Appreciation vs. Cultural Appropriation: Why it Matters.” Holmes also shares simple steps to respectfully explore and take part in a culture without exploiting that culture for personal or industrial profit. For example (edited for brevity):

  • Examine your own culture… Would you be offended if someone wore an important religious symbol from your culture without understanding what it truly means?
  • Listen first… …to understand the implications behind the aspects of their culture you are interested in, and use that understanding to broaden your worldview.
  • Consider context… Understanding what the various aspects of a culture are and what they mean are so important.
  • Share your own culture…The most important part of cultural exchange – and what best distinguishes it from appropriation is that exchange is mutual. https://greenheart.org/blog/greenheart-international/cultural-appreciation-vs-cultural-appropriation-why-it-matters/

Appreciation is when someone seeks to understand and learn about another culture in an effort to broaden their perspective and connect with others cross-culturally. Appropriation on the other hand, is simply taking one aspect of a culture that is not your own and using it for your own personal interest.” ~ Kelsey Holmes, of Greenheart

Support, appreciation, and gratitude are similar in their expression or intention to acknowledge, respect and lift up. This month’s focus on Native American Heritage has opened my eyes – and ears – to not only listen to native voices, but also to listen for native voice. Perhaps the most effective way for me to be an ally is to hand them the mic. Please visit the links shared in this post and listen to and for native voices.

As always, each Tuesday we invite one another to express one thing – in the comments field – for which you are grateful, and/or Share that sentiment as a post on your favorite social media site. It needn’t be lofty and can certainly reflect something we usually take for granted. I’ll go first… I AM so happy and grateful to appreciate and share native voices. Now your turn. I AM so happy and grateful now that/for: _____________________

Photo Credit: Jeff Abbott/Guatemalan Weavers Protest – 2016

#laurelblossomyoga #omofficeyoga #corporateyoga #corporatewellness #yoga #privateyoga #reiki #meditation #om #gratitude #gratituesday #nativeamericanheritagemonth #nativevoices #greenheart #indigenouscultures

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