Happy Give It A Rest Already Sunday 2017
Tucked in between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday we’ve got a tiny little nook of blessed nothingness.
No titles for the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Nobody has bothered to brand it yet.
It’s still a good old-fashioned day of rest. That’s something we can be grateful for in our week of Thanksliving.
Even if you’re not religious, we can acknowledge that every once in a while it’s time to sit down and take a breath and simply be grateful that we can. Taking a day to just kick back and ponder all the things we’ve been blessed with after a couple hectic days of Christmas shopping is a very worthwhile thing. Let’s examine the two faces of gratitude.
Gratitude fills us with a happiness that drowns out the negative emotions of anger and envy. Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the same mind simultaneously. One will push the other out. Since you have the choice, you can choose to be happy by focusing on what you are grateful for. By being grateful for what you have, you escape the trap of hedonic adaptation which diminishes your satisfaction with new circumstances.
Hedonic adaptation is the mindset that prevents us from being satisfied by new things. So many people try to fill the void in their lives by buying new things, getting a new job, hooking up with new partners. The newness wears off and we’re no happier than we were before. We get on a treadmill of hedonic pursuit. The treadmill gets us nowhere.
Gratitude gets us off of the treadmill. When you are genuinely grateful for what you have, it always seems new and pleasurable. You feel as happy with what you are grateful for as when you first got it. Memories stay happier. We are more resilient to stress. We are awash in good feelings.
Keeping a mental checklist of all the things we are grateful for can help us to sleep. Going to sleep while you run through your list of things you’re grateful for soothes the nervous system, leading to longer and more restful sleep.
Being well rested and possessed of a positive point of view decreases our likelihood of heart disease and depression, while increasing our overall health and frequency of exercise. Positive self-image leads to taking better care of ourselves physically.
When you experience the inner benefits of gratitude, it manifests outwardly in a variety of ways. Because you are happy, people are more drawn to you socially. Since you are more pleasant to spend time with, you will have a more engaging social life and greater opportunities at work. Because you are happier with what you have, you will be less materialistic and save money on impulse buying.
If you are in a relationship, being grateful for your partner and their wonderful qualities deepens the relationship because you are focusing on the positive and because your grateful attention makes them feel more loved and appreciated. Being grateful for your partner and for the many blessings in your life also causes you to be more giving. This also makes you a more attractive person because you are more patient and considerate of others.
Truly appreciating the world around you and its many, many blessings is beneficial to your relationships, your body, your mind and your soul. Here is a guided meditation on Gratitude to help you relax and focus on the value of being grateful. I happen to find Dr. Chopra’s voice very soothing. I hope you will enjoy the presentation as much as I do.