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Do you experience stress in personal life, work, finances or health?

Stress* is one of the biggest challenges we face daily. There are certain practices that can help us reduce stress and one of them is a gratitude practice.  Over the past years, there is been more interest, studies and research about gratitude. Gratitude opens doors to more and improved relationships, supports physical and psychological health, and also helps you sleep better!

Gratitude is good for our bodies, our minds, and our relationships, as stated by the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, Robert Emmons.

According to Emmons, people who practice gratitude consistently report the following benefits:

Physical
• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of their health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking

Psychological
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More alert, alive, and awake
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism and happiness

Social
• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Feel less lonely and isolated.

Overall having a practice of gratitude improves well-being, helps us place our attention on the things that are working well in our life, and the people we have to be thankful for.  Acknowledging the things we are grateful for and expressing gratitude to others becomes the source of joyous personal and interpersonal satisfaction and edifying connections.

*Source: Mintel / Grater Good Science Center, UCBerkeley

 

Would you like to respond better to stress or difficult situations?   Would you like to develop resilience? Would you like to be a positive influence to others around you, or just simply feel happier, at peace and more joyful?

The experiences we have in advance to a situation can profoundly affect the choices we make, how we react and the results we get. This effect is called “priming,” in other words, it’s the power of suggestion.

The clear implications of priming on our daily behavior has great potential for training ourselves in advance to the way we would like to react to different situations, especially the challenging ones.

We need to surround ourselves with positive influence that will act as a guiding force for our later behavior.  What you read, the people you surround yourself with, even what you watch on TV will be an influence on you and the way you behave in the near future and will also influence your social behavior.  You can create an environment that will help you to be the best version of yourself.

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Here are 3 simple things you can do to create an uplifting environment:

 • Connect to Gratitude 
When you first wake up, and before going to sleep think of all the good things that you have in your life. Have things around you that remind you to connect to the idea of thankfulness, for example, a sign that says gratitude, or any element in your room that reminds you to think of the good things you have in your life.  Have a gratitude journal to make a list of 3 good things you are grateful for.  And set up alarms in the morning with the word gratitude.

• Past Success Reminders
Look back at your past accomplishments and surround yourself with reminders of that success.  It can be a diploma, an award, a meaningful photo, something that reminds you that you have been successful in the past and you are able to replicate that success again.  Those reminders are your stepping stones to move towards higher levels of motivation and accomplishment.

• Constant Exposure to Meaningful & Inspirational Ideas 
Surround yourself with powerful quotes, prayers, affirmations or words that inspire you.  Meditate on them during the day while you are taking a break, having coffee, or even in the morning while brushing your teeth. You are not only the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with but also an average of the messages you receive, movies you watch, books you read, etc.  Think twice about what you expose yourself to, because it influences you, especially if its a repetitive action that might guide you in the near future.

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” –  Meister Eckhart

What is the difference between living an average life and living a magnificent life? While your first thought might be about grand accomplishments and wild adventures, it is actually something much less exotic or grandiose. What if the difference is as simple as failing to identify the blessings and good things that are working for us?

By integrating a ritual into our daily schedule which celebrates all of our daily blessings, we then constantly experience feelings of awe, beauty, wonder, joy and happiness. Practicing gratitude and doing little things like savoring our morning coffee, noticing and stopping to smell some vibrant flowers, looking at the beauty of nature that surrounds us, making time to be present to the gift of being alive – all of these seemingly small things are what help us remember and realize that our life is truly magnificent. The blessings that we want are already there – right in front of us — if we choose to pay attention and appreciate what we have or acknowledge what we may have been taking for granted.

It’s exciting to see increasing research that shows how practicing gratitude with deliberate intention can rewire our brain to identify the good and combat our tendency to focus on negativity. *1

According to Harvard researcher and author, Shawn Achor, “Something as simple as writing down three things you’re grateful for every day for 21 days in a row significantly increases your level of optimism, and it holds for the next six months.”

Other studies show how gratitude helps keep you calm and increases willpower, and can even boost employee morale. *2 The Grateful Organizations Quiz created by Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center could be a good first step to identify how grateful you and your organization are.*3

Redirecting your thoughts to the things you’re grateful for might give you an instant boost of energy, increase your willpower, help you be more productive and overall gift you with a joyful and more successful life experience.

How does PilloveTalk fit into this? Our home and office decor are designed to support you in your ability to connect to uplifting ideas and serve as reminders to connect to gratitude. It’s like taking a pill — you have to absorb the message into your heart in order for the message to transpire into an awareness of gratitude. We provide you with the reminders, so with time, they will transform into virtues. www.pillovetalk.com

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26746580

http://www.northeastern.edu/cos/2014/03/can-gratitude-reduce-costly-impatience/

3. Grateful Organizations Quiz  http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/quizzes/take_quiz/12


Have you ever catch yourself wondering away of positive thinking and embracing any of these thoughts…

I don’t have what it takes…


Only bad things happen to me…


I won’t be able to get out of this problem…

There are many versions of these thoughts and we continually dwell on them.  In the same way, we can nurture positive thinking, change our focus to an empowering idea and shift a negative perspective.

We have the power tore-direct our thoughts to something uplifting, edifying and self supportive.  We also have the choice to nurture negativity.  There is one question you can ask yourself every time negativity cripples in.  Is this thought serving me and advancing me in my goals or breaking me down and holding me back? 

Every time I ask myself this question, I find it easier to redirect my thoughts to optimistic ideas, and I’m able to find inner peace to get back in track.  By changing our own self narratives we can write a different story that’s empowering, reframe situations and transform our challenges into catalysts for higher grounds.

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