The Attitude of Gratitude - By Steve Gillman
Yes, it might feel great to win the lottery. Money, houses, travel - these are wonderful,
but not enough by themselves. You need the right frame of mind to fully enjoy life. You need the attitude of gratitude.
Life is better when you feel blessed, when you can look around and say "Thank you, God." Religious or not,
when you see life as a wonderful gift, your experience is a richer one than any amount of money can provide. Imagine going
through life like you're a child, and every morning is Christmas.
It's tempting to think gratitude comes from having
what you want. You see yourself giving thanks if you had money, a loving family, and maybe a house on the beach. Still, you
know there are ungrateful, unhappy people with these things, and poor people full of gratitude for what little they have.
Where does this feeling come from?
Gratitude arises from how you look at things. It is the
natural feeling that comes from truly appreciating the people and things in your life. It is also something you can learn.
you have to stop and smell the roses. You can't be thankful for something you don't notice or enjoy. Roses really do smell
great, by the way.
Then, you need to make this appreciative approach to roses and life a habit. There's no need to
ignore the ugliness in the world, but you have to habitually see the beautiful things.
Start writing down every positive
thing that happens to you, and all the things you like. Do this until you start automatically seeing the good things in life.
If you've ever bought a white car, and started seeing white cars all over, you know how awareness can alter your perception
of reality. To see wonderful things all over, train yourself to look for them.
When you are in the habit of "counting
your blessings," gratitude, and a much richer experience of life is the natural result.
Making Friends With Your Mind -
By John H. Fairhart
When we speak about “improving” our life, what we really mean is improving
our experience of life. All experiences of life are determined by the quality of one’s mind. Your mind is either your
best friend or worst enemy. When you make your mind your best friend, you open the door to your highest potential, to every
great opportunity, to enjoying success, meaningful relationships and life itself.
A mind filled with negativity, doubts,
worries, criticisms, condemnations, etc., sabotages our ability to enjoy life. However, most of us are not aware of the nature
of our minds because we are unaware of our habitual thought patterns. If we have not made friends with our mind, we frequently
experience frustration, anger, despair, dissatisfaction, hopelessness, etc.
A mind that is positive, hopeful, contented,
confident, peaceful, tranquil, etc. leads to feeling life is rewarding, worthwhile and fulfilling.
The nature of your
mind is a product of past mental conditioning. Your predominant thoughts, feelings and attitudes became instilled in your
subconscious mind and became part of your character. This causes you to have automatic reactions to your thoughts, feelings
and actions, to those of others and to your circumstances.
So, how do you make friends with your mind? By understanding
the nature of your mind, you learn how to use your God-given personal power in a positive and constructive manner.
the mind’s function is to generate thoughts. It produces one thought after another, like a “thought-making machine”.
This explains why your mind will generate distasteful or unpleasant thoughts even when you don’t want it to. Most people
think that they should always have the perfect and appropriate thoughts and feelings. However, this approach will always leave
you in the position of fighting with your mind, so to speak. In truth, there is a higher or superior approach, which is much
more effective - and that is to make friends with your mind.
We also have an ego. The ego acts like an intimidating
judge by always evaluating, critiquing, judging, or complaining about what we think or feel. Most of us have either an over
inflated ego by feeling superior to others or an under inflated ego that causes us to feel inferior and unworthy.
of ego, we typically have a negative reaction to having had a negative thought or feeling. We usually have a thought such
as, “Don’t think that!” In this way, our ego is reacting to our habitual thought patterns by condemning
our mind. The inherent problem with this interaction is how can you change a thought or feeling after it has already happened?
You can’t. All you can do is either react or respond to it. If the reaction is to condemn yourself for having had a
negative thought, you are fighting with your mind. The better approach is to respond to your mind with love and acceptance.
up, I felt a great deal of frustration and anger. These unresolved negative feelings caused me to have over-reactions to insignificant
occurrences. During a meditation session, I saw to young boys. They were brothers and I was visiting their home. I could see
one little boy was very angry and his brother was afraid and withdrawn. I asked the angry boy why he was so upset. As he was
giving his explanation, I put my arms around them. I felt so much love and compassion for those two little boys. I told them
that as bad as it had been, they should feel “grateful” they hadn’t been physically abused like so many
other children. In this way, I was healing these two wounded aspects of myself by giving them the love and support I had missed
I applied this experience to my everyday thoughts and feelings by giving love and acceptance to my mind.
Instead of condemning my mind for having a negative thought or feeling, I choose to become a witness to my thoughts and feelings
without judging them. If a judgment about a thought or feeling did arise, I told myself that this judgment too was just part
of old habitual thought patterns. In watching the thoughts and feelings come up and my reaction to them, I became identified
with my God-given personal power of love and acceptance.
By giving love and acceptance to yourself, in time the old
habitual ways of reacting to what you think and feel falls away and you become restored to your true, whole Self. Your true
Self is the sole source of true love, lasting joy and supreme contentment.
© 2006 John H. Fairhart
Abundance: Living in a New State of Mind - By Katie Mattson
"Abundance is, in large part, an attitude.”
Sue Patton Thoele
What a truth that statement is! Living from a place of abundance
is also a choice. Each day contains a choice about whether we wake up in control of our day, or dreading the path we have
already set in motion. Having an abundance of favorable tasks, friends and love each day is our choice.
is such a tangible topic because it contains so many truths.
Abundance is a free gift to give. Abundance can be donated
by means of time, love, energy, attention or even thanks. Having it allows you to share freely with others to increase their
reserves. Have you ever dealt with a particularly stressful day, feeling stretched far too thin? Of course you have. On these
days we often find ourselves running into the perfect person at the most opportune time. It could be the person who smiled
and held the door, an old friend sending a quick e-mail, or a family member with some good news. In turn, each of us have
offered this gift to others as well. You may not recognize the moment when you give it, but be assured it is appreciated.
Creating emotional abundance allows each of us to be authentic, which invites more positive emotion each day.
you have to give it to receive it. When you give of your own, you increase the abundance of others. Call it karma, call it
destiny, but whether you are giving monetarily or emotionally, it often comes back to you. Giving it out and witnessing when
and how it comes back creates awareness around the pattern of abundant giving which breeds reciprocation. Sometimes, the only
reciprocation you need is a ‘thank you.’
It has to do with gratitude. We always have abundance, yet often
we don’t recognize it. Our focus is often on what we want next, instead of what we have now. I’m sure your fridge
is pretty well stocked, your belly seldom empty, your hair often washed, your love tank often full and your next paycheck
often expected. Your life is already abundant. Remembering to be grateful for the abundance already in existence has become
an afterthought. What if we thought in terms of abundant gratefulness? What if we were grateful for the lack of traffic on
the way into work? Or, grateful for the fact that our cars run well or our roofs are not leaky? What if we were grateful for
the fact that our eye appointment was just a checkup instead of an emergency? How different would your attitude toward abundance
Abundance can make our lives simpler. Sure, having a large sum of money in our bank accounts creates an easier
lifestyle. Think smaller though. What if you had enough toilet paper for the next six months? Filling up on the little things
can reduce the number of trips to the store and increase the amount of time you have for the things you really want to do.
Living in abundance is living more simply. Stock up on what you can now, so you can enjoy more free time and give more freely
of yourself. When you aren’t stressed about all the “stuff” you have to do, it’s easier to be present
in the moment.
“Abundance is, in large part, an attitude.” -Sue Patton Thoele
Attitudes shift with
perspective. Rod Stryker, meditation teacher and founder of Pure Yoga, states: “You cannot attain what you already have.”
Center yourself with this thought. Once your mind recognizes it is already abundant with love and peace, so then, is your
life. Now, that’s an abundant attitude.
Bad Mood Busters - By
Maryann Troiani, Psy.D.
Are you in a bad mood or just unhappy? Don’t worry. There are easy
ways to beat a bad mood or even a bad day. Good moods or a peppy personality is not a disposition you are born with or without.
And, you’re not doomed to stay unhappy the rest of your life. Your level of happiness is a learned skill. It’s
easy to learn. Anyone can learn to bust a bad mood or look at the world through more optimistic eyes.
In my research
of happy and optimistic people for my book “Spontaneous Optimism: Proven Strategies for Health Prosperity & Happiness”
I uncovered patterns and strategies. Practice these easy strategies in order to improve your mood and become more upbeat and
1. Avoid Emotional Vampires
Do you attract emotional vampires or losers into your life? Are you
a loser magnet?
Emotional vampires and losers literally drain our batteries, slow us down and make us upset. To become
happier, optimistic and energetic -- avoid emotional vampires. Unhappy people allow “emotional vampires” to suck
their positive feelings right out of their skulls. Emotional vampires include people who put you down, criticize or mock you,
or sabotage your dreams and aspirations.
Take survey of your life by making a list of people and situations you expose
yourself to. Then, discard or limit people, habits or situations that keep you from feeling optimistic and happy. In other
words, ‘burn your bridges’ if needed. Remember: Happy and optimistic people hang around with personal cheerleaders.
Unhappy people surround themselves with emotional vampires.
2. De-tox Your Mind
You can de-tox your mind just
as people de-tox their bodies. To get rid of negative or intruding bad thoughts, remember this “Rule of Happiness”:
You can only keep one thought in your mind at a time. You can focus your thoughts on either pessimistic/unhappy or optimistic/happy
thoughts. It’s your choice. Unhappy and pessimistic people focus on gloomy thoughts of how they could fall down and
not get up. They expect the worst to happen. Happy and optimistic people expect the best. So, houseclean your head. When setbacks
or problems pop-up, immediately focus on finding a solution. Unhappy and pessimistic people focus on complaining, but happy
and optimistic people focus on solutions.
3. Optimism and Happiness by the Numbers
Are you obsessed with negative
thoughts that lead you to a bad mood? A simple way to become happy and optimistic is to count your way to more positive thoughts.
It’s easy to become an expert at switching your negative and bad thoughts to more positive and upbeat thoughts and feelings.
All you need to do is focus on counting and switching your bad thoughts to upbeat and uplifting thoughts. Each time you have
a negative thought, immediately switch to a positive thought or solution to your woes. Write a tally mark on a pad of paper
each time you switch like this each day. Your goal is to decrease the number of times you need to switch. For example, at
first you may need to switch 50 times daily. In time, you will decrease it to 30, 20 or 10 times a day. If you are obsessively
negative, you will become obsessively positive using this technique.
4. Change your body posture
Happy and energetic
individuals take big steps, walk faster and stand taller. They seem to exude an endless supply of energy. In sharp contrast,
pessimistic, unhappy and lifeless people shuffle their feet, take tiny steps, walk slowly and slouch. They appear lifeless
and have burned–out their batteries. Watch how you carry your body. Use the body-posture of happy, optimistic people,
such as take big steps, walk faster and stand taller. Using these techniques will help you become happy and energetic. They
are easy to carry out, and will create a positive domino effect with people in your life.
5. Watch what you say --
and never say words such as “try”
To begin acting like happy and optimistic people, you need to learn what
they do. Optimistic people act and talk in certain ways. For example, they use certain words. The words people use can affect
their moods and energy levels. Changing your words can actually change your attitude and feelings. Use “upbeat”
words, instead of “upset” words. For example, you can say, “I feel overwhelmed” which is upsetting.
Or, you can say, “I feel challenged …nevertheless I can do it” which is upbeat.
One of the most
interesting differences between happy and unhappy people is that happy people never or rarely use the word ‘try’
or ‘but.’ These two words leave people feeling hopeless and not in-control of their lives. Happy people feel hopeful,
and take tons of responsibility for their lives. The words ‘try’ and ‘but’ are excuses, and unhappy
people have a bad case of ‘excus-itis.
6. Focus on What You Want & Not On What You Don’t Want
is the #1 happiness and energy zapper. The fastest way to fill yourself with endless joy and energy is to stop worrying. How
can you do that? Each time you have a negative thought, immediately switch it to a positive thought such as a solution to
your woes. People who focus on solutions rather than problems are optimistic, happy and very high energy.
What You Love To Do and It Will Light Your Fire
The best way to start your day and jump out of bed with an enthusiastic
mood is to find your passion. Find out what thrills you and you’ll find boundless new energy to jump out of bed and
start the day with a great mood. People who have no energy in the morning or even during the day are really lost souls. They
do not have a real reason to get out of bed each day. Finding your passion or what thrills you in life can turn you on each
day, light your fire and boost your mood.
Anyone can become more upbeat and optimist. When people use these techniques,
they invariably feel a heavy burdens lift off their shoulders. They feel positive, upbeat, and confident. You only need a
few minutes to put these tips into action. They can be your key to enhanced life including your health, wealth, and career
Remember: Optimism is the hidden key to your personal success. Optimists possess a clear vision of an exciting
life, confidently work on goals to achieve their vision, and take self-responsibility. In contrast, pessimists have no clear
vision of a fantastic life, and they love to complain, blame, and moan. So which do you want to be ---- happy & optimistic
or unhappy and pessimistic? The choice is all yours.
© Copyright 2006 Maryann Troiani, Psy.D.