Have you ever experienced a state of flow? Flow is when you lose track of time because you're deeply engaged in a project or task. Flow is typically found when the task at hand is challenging, but doable.

Gratitude can be challenging. Even with its myriad benefits, we forget to set aside time to consciously be grateful. Though remembering to be grateful can be challenging, we can make practicing gratitude easy.

Let's start. Take 30 seconds now to say or think about who or what you're grateful for. Your gratitude can be as general or as specific as you'd like. It can be for the important or the mundane, the serious or the silly.

I'm grateful for _____________________________________________.

I'm grateful for _____________________________________________.

I'm grateful for _____________________________________________.

I'm grateful for _____________________________________________.

I'm grateful for _____________________________________________.

I'm grateful for _____________________________________________.

I'm grateful for _____________________________________________.

I'm grateful for _____________________________________________.

Did you take 30 seconds? Gratitude is not just a concept but something that can be practiced RIGHT NOW. If you don't have the time now, come back later.

I did the exercise myself.

I'm grateful for clean water and I'm grateful for you. I'm grateful to have a warm shelter and I'm grateful to be loved by friends and family. I'm grateful to be working for my dream company and I'm grateful to have time for interests and passions. I'm grateful for healthy food options and I'm grateful for a healthy body. I'm grateful for candles and I'm grateful for my breath.

I could go on and on and on.

It's easy to find flow when practicing gratitude. Why? Because we have so much to be thankful for.

We can even be grateful for the benefits of gratitude. As Robert Emmons shares in Gratitude Works!

As showcased in my previous book Thanks!, groundbreaking research has shown that when people regularly cultivate gratitude, they experience a multitude of psychological, physical, interpersonal, and spiritual benefits. Gratitude has one of the strongest links to mental health and satisfaction with life of any personality trait—more so than even optimism, hope, or compassion. Grateful people experience higher levels of positive emotions such as joy, enthusiasm, love, happiness, and optimism, and gratitude as a discipline protects us from the destructive impulses of envy, resentment, greed, and bitterness. People who experience gratitude can cope more effectively with everyday stress, show increased resilience in the face of trauma-induced stress, recover more quickly from illness, and enjoy more robust physical health. Many of these effects are quantifiable. Consider these eye-popping statistics. People are 25 percent happier if they keep gratitude journals, sleep one-half hour more per evening, and exercise 33 percent more each week compared to persons who are not keeping these journals. … Experiencing gratitude leads to increased feelings of connectedness, improved relationships, and even altruism. We have also found that when people experience gratitude, they feel more loving, more forgiving, and closer to God.

Certainly you'd be interested in at least one of the benefits Emmons lists above, right?

(Side Note: quoting your own book?! What a move.)

Thank you for taking the time for gratitude and thank you for being you.

Reflect

  1. How did taking 30 seconds for Gratitude feel?
  2. Was it easy to find reasons to be grateful? Why or why not?
  3. What does a consistent gratitude practice look like for you?

Action

  1. Schedule at least one time in the coming week to practice gratitude. Let all that you're grateful for flow out of you.

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