Eschew Your Brood, Choose Gratitude!
“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” – Alphonse Karr
Having lived in New York City since 1994, I can say I have seen and experienced a lot! I often tell my friends that no other city in the world can make me feel, within a 5-minute span of time, absolute inspiration and a desire to get the H. E. double-toothpicks out!
While walking down the city street the other day, the sidewalk was filled with garbage; the malodor of dog urine permeated the air . . . as a charming young couple dressed in a tuxedo and evening gown passed me by. Where else could you experience this scenario but in The Big City? Perspective is paramount!
At this moment, I chose to view my surroundings using my faithful rose-colored glasses. I thought to myself about all the happy dogs that must have traversed the street that day. I reminded myself of how blessed we are to have a competent army of dedicated sanitation workers handle our refuse. And, I delighted in the observance of a loving couple out for a fun-filled night on the town.
I looked up to the skyline and saw all the beauty that was surrounding me and began to count all of the things that I am thankful for each and every day.
“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” – Henri Frederic Amiel
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Several studies have shown that gratitude has a tremendous impact on both oneself, as well as others. The Emmons/McCullough study showed that simply writing a few sentences each week, expressing events that made you feel grateful, resulted in prolonged optimism and greater overall health and happiness.
The Seligman study of the University of Pennsylvania found that handwriting and delivering letters of gratitude to deserving recipients resulted in increased happiness scores lasting up to a month. Also, studies have shown that leaders who express gratitude to their employees for a job well done will likely achieve higher workplace productivity.
In 2003, Dr. Martin Seligman delivered his 2003 TED Talk on the new era of positive psychology, and discussed why the current state of psychology is “not good enough.” There is a need to develop ways to make people happier.
So, what is the goal of Positive Psychology? Positive Psychology focuses on strengths as well as weaknesses. It states that psychology should be just as interested in building the positive things in life as it is in repairing negative experiences. As well, should be as concerned with encouraging people to lead productive and fulfilling lives as it is in repairing pathologies.
Techniques For Achieving More Pleasure In Your Life
- Design A Beautiful Day: Plan an upcoming day and make it as beautiful as possible. Write your beautiful day on paper, what would it consist of? Begin your day by spending some time in peaceful meditation. Do you have a favorite food or beverage you would like to consume? Are there any hobbies or activities you have been wanting to do? What about entertainment, are there any books you have been longing to read, or artistic endeavors you’ve been wanting to pursue? How about a bike ride, or a long walk in the park? Focus on connectivity – smile and engage more with others. Take some time at the end of your beautiful day to enjoy a magnificent sunset, and prepare yourself for a blissful sleep.
- Gratitude Visit: Think about someone currently in your life that has had a powerful and positive impact on who you are today. Write a three hundred word testimonial to that person and call them on the phone . . . or better yet, pay a visit and read to them your testimonial in person.
- Strengths Date: Identify your highest strengths on the strengths survey together with your significant other. Plan an evening together to put your strengths to the test with one another. This has been shown to help solidify relationships.
- Fun Versus Philanthropy: Get together with some friends and plan to do something fun. On a separate day do something that is charity-driven, with the intent to help others. Afterward, take some time to evaluate how you feel after both days. Often the happiness experienced while doing something fun is short-lived, while the joy felt when doing something philanthropic is long-lasting.
Take the time to practice some simple acts of gratitude regularly to help make you, and the world a much happier place:
– Compliment often
– Write handwritten notes of thanks
– Be mindful of your blessings
– Pay it forward
– Tip well for good service
– Volunteer for others in need
– Give to charity
– Visit the sick and elderly
– Smile often
– Always say thank you
– Be an active listener
– And, continue being an AWESOME YOU!!
Love and Gratitude,
Richard A. Lehman, LMT, CSCS
Compliment Your Body, LLC
New York, NY. 10018
Compliment Your Body, LLC has been providing in-home and corporate / event chair massage to New York City and the surrounding boroughs since 2014. Commitment, compassion, connection, and charity are the pillars of our business. We have partnered with Food Bank For New York City through 2020. Three meals will be provided to those in need with every single scheduled in-home or corporate event massage. Visit www.cybnyc.com to schedule your in-home or corporate event massage today. Experience the CYBNYC difference.
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