We hear more and more these days about the part that gratitude can play in our lives. We know it opens us up to seeing even more good things in our lives, things we may not have noticed before or that we may have taken for granted.
Here's something else I'm learning: It can help to do more than just think the thoughts of gratitude. Sure, it's great to think about those things for which we're grateful, perhaps even list them in a journal. But we can take our gratitude to another level by allowing ourselves to feel the gratitude physically.
Stop a moment and really pay attention. Call to mind two or three things for which you're grateful right now. Picture them, one at a time, in your mind. What do you feel as you do that? Say you're picturing your loved ones. Do you find the very image of them brings a smile to your face. Does your heart feel more open? Do you just feel lighter—as though you'll have more bounce in your step?
Sometimes it's good to just stop and allow ourselves to feel the gratitude. It's definitely an excellent way to start the day. But it can add to your health and happiness no matter when you do this during the day!