It may sound strange, but this can influence dieting…have you ever wanted to lose, say, ten kgs. /lbs., but after a week of being vigilant and steadfast, the scale said you’d lost only one? (BTW, there are many reasons this might happen.) How did you react to that? Did you beat yourself up? Was the next week’s result even more disappointing or did you give up completely?
Well, why would you lose more weight for yourself if “yourself” is not grateful for what you’ve already lost? How about an “atta girl” for the amazing self-discipline you displayed, or for the healthy eating habits you are forming? And a kilo lost is a kilo lost after all! Of course this can be applied to other scenarios in life as well….
Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at U.C. Davis, is [according to some] the leading scientific expert on gratitude. He argues that gratitude has two key components: (1) an affirmation of goodness in the world, and (2) the recognition that the source of this goodness is outside of ourselves.
Other sources disagree, asserting that we need to appreciate ourselves, we can’t rely on others to offer us gratitude – either at work or at home. So if we want to stay motivated and on the road toward our goals, we need to celebrate our accomplishments each and every day, big and small!
This doesn’t mean we have to go around “tooting our own horn,” we’re not talking about being vain or narcissistic. Acknowledging ourselves can be personal and private, we don’t have to share any of it with others (though loved ones are generally supportive of achievements shared with humility – we’ll explore this more in next week’s blog).
If that still seems a little self-serving, we have many more things in our daily lives to be grateful for…and there is nothing too small – nice weather, the kids took the garbage out without being asked, someone actually let you in their driving lane, etc. The more appreciative you are of the things that please you, the more those things will come to you. #lawofattraction
Keeping a gratitude journal is a good way to get into the habit of acknowledging blessings that come your way. Sounds like too much, don’t like writing? Be mindful, then, every day, of things that have transpired that you are thankful for (if you have a favourite number, it’s a fun way to tally them up).
Amy Vetter, who owns a yoga studio and is a CPA, uses a Gratitude Statement. She says it helps her stay aware of why she created a yoga studio in the first place, despite the occasional unhappy customer: “I’m grateful I get to do _______ by helping others achieve _________.” Try coming up with your own?
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