Tuesday, January 5, 2016

4 Ways to Strengthen our Muscle of Gratitude - the Real Key to Happiness!

Daisaku Ikeda writes in Faith into Action, page 7 (under Appreciation)
"To "enjoy what there is to enjoy" means to cause the "mystic lotus of the heart" to blossom brightly with a sense of appreciation and joy. Someone who can find joy, who can feel appreciation, experiences a snowballing exhilaration and joy in life. Such is the heart's function."

How can we do this? Try this!  

4 Tips for More Appreciation in Our Lives! 

Gratitude is attitude. It starts with US. It is a muscle we can build. And once we build it....ahhh the benefits that begin to flow! 

Tip #1
List Ten Things
Before we get out of bed think about ten things we are grateful for that very day. They can be ANYTHING. We can be grateful for sight, hearing, feeling. We can be grateful to be alive...grateful to have woken up! I've mentioned before that when my Mom was feeling depressed I gave her this tip, and her depression lifted. She told me it was this one action that changed her life. 

Tip #2
Smiling is a cause not an affect. 
The more we smile, 
the more reasons we will have to smile!
Make your smile light your day. 

I like to think of the song by Carol King:
You've got to get up every morning
And show the world
All the love in your heart!
When we smile, we physically create happiness hormones. There have been studies done recently about this. Also, when we smile at another person, they automatically feel better...their brain registers happiness even if they do not smile back at us. Isn't that cool? Smile! 

Tip #3
Write a Rampage of Appreciation
Take a notebook and put titles as the top of each page. Titles could be:
My body
My work
My relationship with _______
My parents
My children
My home
My car
My self
My practice
...and on and on...you get the idea. 

Then list all the things you are grateful for under each heading...or all the things you COULD BE grateful for. 

Tip #4 
Chant in Gratitude
While chanting  ~ generate these feelings of gratitude and happiness. Our gratitude will amplify and spread.

What do you do to build the muscle of appreciation into your life? Write me at chantforhappiness@gmail.com

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