What do you have to be grateful for? It might seem like a funny question with all that is going on in the world these days, and it is an important question. So important that I believe we should be asking ourselves every day.

When we choose to focus our attention on what is going right, instead of what is going wrong, our bodies respond in a beneficial and healthy way. Our heart and respiration slow, our blood pressure lowers, our muscles relax, and the levels of stress hormones coursing through the body decrease. The simple act of practicing gratitude encourages the body to move into greater balance and promotes wellbeing.

Cultivating thankfulness also allows us to soften our hearts and our attitudes, as we open up to this moment and appreciate its fullness. Rather than just counting your blessings, you might want to take the time to savor each one – bringing each one fully into your awareness for a moment – and take note of the sensations you experience in the body as you do so.

Just a few minutes of this practice each day can have a profound effect on the quality of your life. Try it and see.

Linda Oxford

Linda Oxford, MS, MA, LPC, RYT500

Linda has a private mental health counseling practice in Rochester Hills and Alden (seasonally), Michigan. She provides compassionate and confidential psychotherapy and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) classes, meditation and yoga training to people, groups and businesses wanting to learn to decrease anxiety and depression, cope with chronic physical or emotional pain, improve health and well-being, and gain greater satisfaction with life.

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