Expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.
November is a perfect month to focus on cultivating gratitude. Let's extend an attitude of gratitude beyond the Thanksgiving table (yes, I am that person) and focus on incorporating it into our daily lives.
Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude:
Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your love and appreciation of that person's impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. And don't forget to write one to yourself.
Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has made a positive impact on your life, and mentally thank the individual. Thoughts are a powerful means of communication.
Keep a daily gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down each day what you are grateful for in your life. This is known to help cultivate a positive daily thought pattern as well as an attitude of gratitude.
Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or created a sense of joy in your life. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you. Learning to connect your thoughts to emotions is a powerful tool to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. You could focus on what you're grateful for, such as the the warmth of the sun, a pleasant song, a delicious meal, etc.
You will be amazed at the way life opens up to you when you have a grateful attitude.
With a grateful heart,
Emmons RA, et al. "Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Feb. 2003): Vol. 84, No. 2, pp. 377–89.
Grant AM, et al. "A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way: Explaining Why Gratitude Expressions Motivate Prosocial Behavior," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (June 2010): Vol. 98, No. 6, pp. 946–55.
Lambert NM, et al. "Expressing Gratitude to a Partner Leads to More Relationship Maintenance Behavior," Emotion (Feb. 2011): Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 52–60.
Sansone RA, et al. "Gratitude and Well Being: The Benefits of Appreciation," Psychiatry (Nov. 2010): Vol. 7, No. 11, pp. 18–22.
Seligman MEP, et al. "Empirical Validation of Interventions," American Psychologist (July–Aug. 2005): Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 410–21.
Tomorrow the Sun in Scorpio and Jupiter in Scorpio form a conjunction. This aspect in astrology can help bring about positive change in your life. Scorpio is a sign that reveals the depths of our truths and drives our passion for life and transformation. Jupiter is the planet of expansion and helps us bring about the change we wish to manifest. The Sun is how we express our Self to the world.
During this aspect, you would benefit from asking your Self the following questions. Are you aware of your truths and do you express your true Self to the world? Are you focused on expansion or are you limiting your Self due to fear? How can you show up for your Self in a way that honors your intended growth?
You will see the most growth during this time if you dive deep into your soul and do not shy away from all of what is inside you, what you desire to change, and what you desire to expand. Don’t be afraid to dive deep! What is it that you wish to manifest in your life? Start focusing on that and release any negativity or fear-based thoughts that keep you from exploring your truths.
To read more about this conjunction, check out a few of my favorite astrologers:
ME TOO. Two words that can bring about awareness to an all too familiar experience of sexual harassment, assault, and/or abuse that happens more so than is known. These experiences can leave a scar not just physically, but more so emotionally and mentally. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Many of us share the same scar. And now is the time to RISE UP!
Those who have experienced this sort of trauma become so accustomed to the emotions of fear, guilt, and shame that are placed upon them by their perpetrator, themselves, and society that they hide their scar as much as they can. But like any scar, it will never go away no matter how much you or society try to hide it. This scar becomes a part of you and affects everything from your relationship with yourself and others to your everyday thoughts and emotions.
The actual experience itself is not what does the most damage, it’s what happens after that is the real struggle. A struggle that can last a lifetime. A struggle that mostly goes unnoticed by others.
Our society creates this notion that it’s your fault you didn’t speak up. So many people ask, “why didn’t you say anything?” You should have! That easy, right? WRONG! What most people do not understand is that these experiences are mainly perpetrated by those who utilize manipulation to feel powerful and in control of another. They will use any means necessary, from threating someone’s life/career/etc. to threatening the life of someone they love. That is where it hurts the most because they know how scared and empathic their “victims” are and they use it to their advantage.
Being an empathic and compassionate individual are traits that these manipulators look for in a “victim”. Sad but true. Two traits that are highly regarded as virtues are being used against those who possess them. More so, these individuals then become so afraid to continue express these same beautiful traits in fear of being manipulated again. They build walls, they shut down, and they shut people out.
My personal story is similar to many women, men, and children out there. My life was forever changed the first night I was sexually abused. That is the day my thought pattern of living in fear began. The day that vibrant young girl I once was went into hiding. The day my self-love diminished and my ability to trust a man was forever flawed.
It has taken many years of healing therapy, reading books, and self-compassion to finally be at peace with my experience. To change my perspective and begin to live my truth. I no longer let this experience define me. Each day I make a promise to myself to release the fear based thoughts and emotions that still reside within me as I release the view that I am a victim.
It wasn’t an easy road and those who have stuck by my side know that it has been a roller coaster of emotions. BUT I RISE UP!
For those of you who have experienced any act of sexual harassment, abuse, and/or assault, I ask you to RISE UP! Not only to free yourself but to let others know that THEY ARE NOT ALONE!
For those who know someone who has experienced sexual harassment, abuse, and/or assault, I ask you to keep supporting those who need your love right now. It makes a difference.
To all you parents, teachers, and anyone in a positon to influence our next generation, please make sure to build up our youth and help them realize they are loved and supported. That they are strong, beautiful, and courageous. That NO ONE can take that away from them. They are love.
On a personal note, I would like to acknowledge all of those who have been there for me along my journey. All those who have leant me a shoulder to cry on, who have given me a hug when that’s all I needed, and who have listen when I needed to voice my story. THANK YOU!
AND to the wonderful man I currently share my life with. You are a true definition of a kind and caring man who loves me no matter how many scars I may have. I love you!
Together we can make a change. #riseup #youarenotalone #metoo
We all have been asking ourselves, why all the devastation and despair? And more importantly, what can those who have not been directly affected do to help? Yes, we can donate money and supplies but we can also donate love. Love isn’t just an intimate act between two people, it is our connection to EVERYONE. We are all love and all connected. Share your love for your fellow being and help raise the consciousness of our society. Do not focus on the negative, focus on the love you can send to all those who are in pain, who have lost, and who are struggling to survive.
Ashley Tracey, MS RYT
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