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The restorative tonic of ‘thank you’

Science is proving the many health and wellbeing benefits – better sleep, lower blood pressure, and fewer aches and pains – that come with the simple practice of gratitude.

How can we use the power of gratitude to reap these and other benefits in our lives? Karen Powell, a creativity coach, and a lifestyle mentor help us find some answers. 

Karen believes that gratitude has the power to profoundly change your life for the better. She has prepared eight gratitude tools that you can use to create an abundance of blessings in your life. 

  • Bring your blessings to life by making them visible

Keep a ‘Gratitude Journal’. Every day, write down five things you’re grateful for in your life. Then next to each one write why you’re grateful for it. Or you could write down the things you’re thankful for on small pieces of paper and put them into a ‘Gratitude Jar” each day, or create a collage of pictures representing things you’re grateful for, or do a ‘Mind Map of Blessings’. 

  • Do a week of negative abstinence

It’s hard to feel grateful when you’re pouring negativity into your life. For one week, do not complain, criticize, gossip, or watch or read negative or violent TV news, movies, videos, etc. Throughout the week and afterward, pay attention to how you’re feeling inside. 

  • Dig a little deeper 

Express gratitude for things you may have taken for granted. This can be for the shoes on your feet, the clean air you breathe, the dentist, the sunshine, … You can even express gratitude for the lessons learned during the difficult times in your life. 

  • In relationships 

Even if you’re having challenges in a relationship, instead of focusing on what’s ‘wrong’, make a list of all the things you’re grateful for in that person. Then every day express one of those to the person. Watch what happens!

  • In a matter of money and finances

Instead of complaining about your bills or lack of money in the bank, shift the focus on how fortunate you are to be able to pay for whatever it is that you can pay for. What you focus on expands, so if you’re focusing on lack, you’re going to create more lack. If you focus on what is there, however small, then you’re going to attract more of that. 

  • Gratitude is the most effective natural remedy for insomnia 

If you can’t sleep at night start a mental list of all that you’re grateful for. You can start with your body: ‘Thank you for my eyesight. Thank you for my hearing. Thank you for my heart …’, Continue listing one after the other. You will soon become relaxed and drift right off to sleep. 

  • Allow the full flow of gratitude

If someone thanks you, be gracious. Don’t negate it or minimize it as ‘nothing’. Likewise, if someone gives you a compliment, don’t turn it away or respond with all the reasons they shouldn’t be complimenting you. Just say ‘Thank you.’

  • Use gratitude to bring your passion or purpose into being

Visualize yourself living your purpose. Then mix the feeling of gratitude into that picture as if it’s already happening. This is your most powerful way of allowing something into being.