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How to crack the

GRATITUDE HABIT Switch your mind-set to one of thankfulness, no matter what, and see how things start to happen for you. By Catriona Ross

I

t’s easy to feel grateful when life is running smoothly, and hard when your bank balance is negative, you’re arguing with family and you’ve received a dollop of bad news. But if there’s one habit (besides saving and investing) that can take your life to the next level, this is it. Why practise gratitude? Because it frees you and makes life better. Says

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Dr John Demartini, a researcher and personal development speaker who runs courses across South Africa, ‘Gratitude enhances all areas of your life. When you’re grateful for the many events and experiences in your life, you become less burdened by emotional baggage and become more uplifted and enlightened.’ If you’re focused on what’s not to your liking, that is what you experience. But by noticing the good things that happen daily, you feel more positive, and your infectious

attitude of gratitude appears to draw more good things. As author and women’s health expert Dr Christiane Northrup writes, ‘Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.’ START BY LISTING YOUR PERSONAL RICHES

Gratitude is the foundation of the transformative year-long programme by Sarah Ban


LIVE SOUL

Liberate your mind and life from unnecessary burdens

IMAGE: GALLO IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

LINK GRATITUDE TO AN ESTABLISHED HABIT

Breathnach, US author of Simple Abundance. All we have is all we need, she posits; we just need to become aware of it. One day, feeling exhausted and trapped because there was so much she couldn’t afford, she changed her attitude. ‘When I surrendered my desire for security and sought serenity instead, I looked at my life with open eyes. I saw that I had much for which to be grateful. I felt humbled by my riches and regretted that I took for granted the abundance that already existed in my life. How could I expect more from the universe when I didn’t appreciate what I already had?’ She made an inventory of her life’s assets: good health, her loving daughter and husband, pets, a home, food and wine, friends. ‘When I looked at my life’s ledger, I realised I was a very rich woman. What I was experiencing was merely a temporary cash-flow problem.’

The key is to train your mind to look for things you like by default, and that requires daily practice. As Breathnach suggests, work on this for two months to entrench the habit. Start by listing five things daily you feel grateful for. Get a beautiful notebook to use as your gratitude journal, and list your five items every night before bed. Introducing a new habit is easier when linked to something you already do routinely, such as brushing your teeth. You could list the five items mentally when brushing your teeth at night. (Write ‘grateful’ on a plaster and wrap it around your toothbrush to remind yourself!) ‘You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life,’ Breathnach says.

a house, is secure and easy to clean). It’s also about acknowledging the sad and bad things that happen, but choosing to appreciate the many wonderful things that happen concurrently. After all, experiences are mainly a matter of perception. ‘Your daily events can appear negative at first glance,’ says Dr Demartini, ‘and then a day, week, month, year or decade later they can appear to reveal their other, positive side. When you see both sides simultaneously, you become grateful for the hidden order within your apparent chaos.’ Ultimately, you may be grateful for the retrenchment that allowed you to spend more time with a dying parent, or the issues at work that prompted you to find a better position elsewhere. ‘Anything you cannot say “thank you” to will occupy space and time in your mind and run your life until you can,’ says Dr Demartini. ‘Give yourself permission to see both sides and liberate your mind and life from unnecessary burdens,’ he advises. ‘Gratitude is the key that opens up the gateway of your heart and allows the love that resides within to radiate out.’

GRATEFUL FOR ... EVERYTHING?

Gratitude is about holding onto your dreams – a three-bedroom house with a garden, for example – but genuinely appreciating what’s working for you right now (say, your rented flat, which costs far less than

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Edgars Club Magazine May 2018 - Live Soul  

How to crack the gratitude habit - Switch your mind-set to one of thankfulness, no matter what, and see how things start to happen for you....

Edgars Club Magazine May 2018 - Live Soul  

How to crack the gratitude habit - Switch your mind-set to one of thankfulness, no matter what, and see how things start to happen for you....