Posts tagged: Gratitude

Instant Insight: The small joys


Everywhere we look — Instagram or Facebook, television shows, movies, or magazine covers — it seems there’s always an emphasis on total perfection. The most fashionable clothes, the most photogenic meal, or the ultimate vacation. Then there’s your dream weight, your fantasy car, or what might happen if you met “the one.”

These are useful ways to sell ideas (and products), but they’re not very realistic ways to find happiness or maintain a balanced perspective. While our long-term goals or big dreams are important, our day-to-day contentment is better decided by the little things, the things that might remind us that we’re lucky and that life is
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Instant Insight: Find yourself in others


In dark or difficult moments — whether personal or interpersonal, local or global — it’s natural to feel lost or powerless. Expressing gratitude is one useful act, but stepping outside of ourselves is another way to channel grief into good. And to connect us with others who may be ailing.

Saving the entire world is a pretty big task, but performing acts of care for others, however big or small, will lift the world’s weight from your
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5 easy ways to help Hurricane Harvey victims without donating money


It’s natural to feel stuck and overwhelmed when a disaster strikes and you find yourself feeling powerless or unable to help. This week, millions across southeast Texas and Louisiana have been imperiled by Hurricane Harvey, which has already destroyed countless homes, devastated critical infrastructure, and left thousands without steady access to shelter, food, power, and clothing.

And while volunteering or donating to well-vetted charitable organizations are thought to be the most effective ways to help, there are still plenty of opportunities to be empowered to assist — even if giving money isn’t an immediate possibility or if you live far from those affected. Here are a few suggestions for ways to help out:

  1. Give blood. No matter where you live, giving blood is always useful, particularly as the need for donations grows in the aftermath of a major emergency. One easy way to help is to donate through a national
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How to squeeze your favorite people back into your life


Why do we ignore people who matter the most to us? You know, the friend or cousin or former teammate who really gets us. Who we can say and do anything with. Who we haven’t connected with in a long time.

You might chalk it up to busyness, but it really comes down to bonds. We are comfortably certain that time out of touch will not fray our affection in the long run. And we’re usually right. Part of a superstrong relationship is that we don’t have to constantly nurture it. The love will always be there. And when we do connect, it is soulfully satisfying. And sustaining. Or is it?

For a minute, forget the people you need to please or impress. Forget your pile of responsibilities. Instead, remember those deep connections — both the memories and the vague plans for future connection.

Is it enough, these momentary touches? How much finer
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Get your gratitude glow on


get gratitude

When prompted to think about gratitude, and list the things we’re grateful for, it’s easy to give the same answers every time:

“My family”
“My health”
“My family’s health”

These things are undoubtedly important — we should be grateful for them. But that pesky word, “should,” can be telling. Anything with a “should” attached to it can feel heavy. Pure gratitude, on the other hand, feels light — like a warm glow spreading through you.

Plus, when we recite the same list of things we’re thankful for over and over again, our authentic feelings of gratitude can get stale.

So how can we tap into gratitude in a way that feels fresh each time?

We’ve put together a printable exercise that helps you do just that. (Click the link or the image below to print the exercise.)

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A generous way to make life better


A generous way to make life better

One of the best things about living life with a generous spirit is how easy it is. And how cost-effective — it’s really just the price of a kind intention. For instance…

Someone enters the living room where you’re sitting on the couch engrossed in conversation or “Game of Thrones.” Your instinct is to scoot over so the new person can sit and join in. That’s an act of generosity — making room for other people.

It’s a way of responding to our fellow human beings that says: I accept you, you can trust me, let’s get along. And, well, things only get better from there.

At the core of generous gestures — inviting an opinion, sharing an insight, forgiving a mistake — is a decidedly uncompetitive attitude. This is where it can get a little tricky, because we’re competitive by nature.

But what if we decided there’s room for all of us? If,
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7 simple ways to pay it forward


If intentionally doing something thoughtful were a daily requirement, the resulting happiness could change your corner of the world. In addition to benefiting the recipient, the act of paying it forward (extending the goodwill in our life to someone else’s) increases our sense of well-being — because we know we did something that mattered. The size of the gesture is
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Gratitude is great — paying it forward is even better


We’re in the season of gratitude, and thank goodness for that.

The air’s turned colder and it’s dark by 4 pm, giving us sufficient fodder for complaints (on top of our usual stuff). So remembering to get a little grateful really does helps. If we’re busy reflecting on the love we feel for mashed potatoes, there’s no room to hate on a 3:54 sunset. It’s replacement thinking; it doesn’t make the bad stuff go away, but it makes it less important.

Plus, practicing gratitude is easy. All we have to do is lean back and think about what’s good in our life. It brings on a sense of contentment to beat the band. What could be better than that?

Paying it forward.

Paying it forward matches gratitude (it makes us happy) and multiplies it (it makes other people happy and perpetuates the happiness).

Just so there’s no confusion, let’s define what the phrase means. Paying it forward
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Finding: The gratitude cure


You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

Okay, uplifting song lyrics can sound like cold comfort when we find ourselves on a hard road, or when unexpected obstacles appear on the path toward our goals. But researchers in four separate studies show that the physiological benefits of “latching on to the affirmative” are real. Just spending a few minutes each night jotting down things that you’re grateful for can lead to a 25% increase in happiness, better sleep, fewer health complaints, and a greater tendency to be generous toward others.

The trick is to surface things that you’re truly grateful for. Faking gratitude won’t achieve these amazing benefits. Try noting — and sharing — things you like about yourself, your friends, your job, your spouse, or even a stranger. Here are 40 ways to get
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