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Finding Gratitude and Appreciation in Your Life

Finding gratitude and appreciation in your life can change how you feel and respond to what is happening in front of you. It can change your perceptions, your physical responses and impact your thoughts. This can change your sense of boredom, apathy, or displeasure with life.

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You can change how you see yourself and the world around you by choosing to find reasons to appreciate your life, who you are, and what you have right now. Even if you have felt isolated these past few years, find yourself trying to find calm in all of the changes taking place, or wish you were someplace else, there is the potential for choosing to find what is life-energizing. This has a positive effect on your health, relationships, and outlook on life. It can happen with simple gratitude and appreciation.

By creating a Gratitude and Appreciation Practice for yourself you can build a presence that feeds your body-mind-spirit system daily. This can contribute to your satisfaction with life. Physically, you might express appreciation and gratitude by acknowledging the wonder of your body and how it carries you from moment to moment, day by day. By doing so you reduce stress and calm internal conflicts. Your relationships can also improve through gratitude and appreciation to become more constructive with actions and interactions.

Finding Gratitude and Appreciation Right in Front of You

It is easy to get so lost in daily routine and automatic responses to life that you take for granted or become blind to all the nurture and support that is right in front of you. To make the shift, you first notice and allow your senses to take in your surroundings. Start by getting in touch with your breath. Then allow your eyes to scan and rest on the contents of the space you are in, your home, the sky, plants, flowers, and trees outside. Rest your awareness on the significance of each particular place you rest your eyes or what you notice. This can be a vase of flowers, a bud on a tree, or the sound or color of a bird.

You don’t have to look or travel far to give to find beauty or something that brings you pleasure. You live in your body 24/7 and on the Earth 24/7. Take it in what is right in front of you with appreciation. By doing so you create positive benefits for your wellness and well-being.

Upon awakening, let the words “Thank You” flow from your lips, for this will remind you to begin your day with gratitude and compassion.”~Wayne Dyer

Start where you are, literally. Appreciate your body and what you wear on your body each day. This includes the vibrancy of colors, the patterns, and texture of the cloth, warmth, fun, comfort, and joy you have experienced from your choices. What meaning and energy do these colors and feelings are you experiencing when you wear these clothes?

As the weather is changing and there is more opportunity to get out into nature, or to safely attend gatherings to connect, I have opened my closet to what seems like a brand new wardrobe! Putting on earrings, wearing a scarf or sweater I haven’t worn in a few years, is an absolute joy! And, I experience appreciation for these new possibili

Since the pandemic, I have limited the amount of clothing I cycle through weekly. I have also donated clothing with the thought in mind that someone else can also appreciate the items that no longer fit or have a place in my clothing choices. And, this makes me smile with the thought that paying it forward can multiply appreciation.

How about applying appreciation to the foods that come from the Earth to nourish your body? These foods come to your table from a wide diversity of places. Appreciate the soil, seeding, farmers and workers, and the growth process each of the foods you eat has taken, and how this, in turn, energizes your body. Appreciate the color, texture, and flavor of your food.

Acknowledge how food has created a story and connection with your family and friends. Perhaps there are favorite dishes, a particular holiday or ritual that has made your food story a special memory or has an emotional positive meaning for you. Bring this appreciation practice into your selection of foods and preparation as well.

Cook with love and with the intention of nourishment and well-being. Become aware and discerning of what foods are energizing to you and bring them into your kitchen to combine in creative ways for health and well-being. As you do so, you can also consciously become aware of foods that are not energizing to your body-mind system. And, express internal conscious choice to create even greater potential for your life energy, your moods, and well-being to appreciate.

Finding Joy and Appreciation for the Small Things in Life

It is often the small things that change your perceptions. A smile from someone, the laughter of children, a word of encouragement, a favorite song, someone holding the door open, a beautiful sunset, or appreciation for truly being seen and heard can mean the most.

Allow appreciation to take in the people in your life who have been there at a special time, made you laugh, consoled, or listened when you needed it most and who you learned from as you shared time with them. Appreciate the ups and downs of your own life as they have created who you are today. Notice and appreciate what is happening and speaking in your body-mind-spirit system today.

It might sound like a small thing, however, throughout the pandemic, my mother and I, both isolated, have had a daily appreciation and gratitude exchange close to sunset. She has a view of the bay in the West while I live in a circle of cedar trees. She sees the sky light up as it moves into twilight each day. Each evening by phone, she describes the colors of the sky and the shapes of the clouds to me. By doing so, we each experience the expansive qualities of the beauty unfolding through our senses and imagination.

Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then it will really be a good day.” ~David Steindl-Rast

Finding Gratitude and Appreciation for Others

By making appreciation a practice, include words, prayer, affirmation, journaling, drawings, movement, making music, toning, or spending time in places locally that you love or might not yet know. Your gratitude and appreciation meditation might become a walk or even a wake-up or calm down around sleep routine. No matter what you choose, this practice can easily become your daily experience as you recognize the value of life and its gifts each day.

In the same way, be sure to use appreciation with others. Everyone needs to feel they are appreciated and have a purpose. This can be done when you express gratitude for something or to someone in your life by including the reasons you appreciate an action or presence. This contributes to the health of your relationships and also supports creating greater motivation and life energy whether in personal or business relationships.

Research shows that gratitude and appreciation stimulate oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin neurotransmitters and hormones to build pathways within your body-mind system to create a sense of calm, satisfaction, safety, love, joy, trust, and bonding. This happens for both the giver and the person who receives it.

I am reminded of a recent experience running around doing errands while in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s in my town. As I pulled into the parking lot, I could hear the sound of singing and Native Drum. There was a Native American man with a sign next to him asking for support for his situation as his house flooded in the recent storms in this area. Instantly, I was taken into the space I have experienced in sweat lodge rituals, and when parked, I sat for a few moments with my eyes closed just to listen. I was brought back into my center and relaxed. I remembered the connection to the Earth and to each person in the lodge and with all my relations. And, although I only had a few dollars cash on me, I walked over to him and said, “I’m sorry, this is all I have.” He took my hand between his two hands and smiled deeply. The gratitude exchange between us was enormous and made something seemingly small more than enough.

With practice and over time you can see how small steps in the direction towards creating an internal and external environment for gratitude and appreciation to thrive that you will begin to experience greater integrity in your wellness and well-being.

Making a daily appointment and commitment to create new neurotransmitters that communicate life-energizing vitality to your body-mind-spirit system can also expose or illuminate negative patterns and beliefs. By consciously choosing new ways of seeing and experiencing life, you actually gain more confidence and motivation for the process as your internal barometer begins to change. So the takeaway message is to start the process; and keep coming back to find gratitude and appreciation with conscious choice.

Kimberly Rex, MS
Kimberly Rex

Kimberly Rex, MS is an Advanced Resonance Repatterning practitioner, Person-Centered Expressive Therapist, and Wellness and Well-being Life Coach. She works with people all over the world by Skype, phone, and proxy.

Find out how Resonance Repatterning benefits your life. Set up a personal session or sign up for a free monthly newsletter with articles, natural healing modalities, and exclusive group sessions here.

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