What does this statement mean to you?
What does this statement mean to you?
Thanksgiving is a time to ponder the things in life for which we are grateful. Beyond our friends and family, our health and the various and sundry material possessions, consider being grateful for the present moment. More than any other emotion, gratitude can change your life!
Let Forgiveness Flourish
When you’re grateful for your life as it is and not afraid to show it (you can’t walk around complaining and expect to see a result), an amazing thing happens. You can look back on situations that may not have gone as you’d have liked, or people who have hurt you, and find forgiveness, which is one of the most liberating feelings in the world. By letting forgiveness flow freely into your heart – because you know and appreciate the fact that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be at this very moment – you open yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities.
On that note, gratitude is the first step in creating personal prosperity in the future. One sure fire way to help bring something you want into your life – a relationship, a situation, a job, more money – is to give genuine thanks for the things you have now. If you’re not happy with your life as it is on a broad spectrum, odds are that there’s still plenty to be grateful for. Even if it’s the wisdom to see your shortcomings clearly and the ability to do something about them, take the time to smell the roses in your current garden… it will only help you to nourish next year’s crop, to be even more bountiful and beautiful.
Finding the Power Within
Finally, it’s important to remember that happiness is not some external state that comes via accumulation of goodies or finding your “perfect” partner. It’s a force that bubbles up and resonates from within. When you appreciate where you are in this very moment – not just where you’ve been, what you’ve already achieved, or where you want to go – you’re sending signals to the universe (and to everyone you meet) that you are a positive person. Whether you achieve this via yoga, meditation, self-exploration, prayer, or some combination of methods (which is most likely), there’s a universal truth involved in cultivating appreciation (of yourself and your life). Like attracts like. The more content and grateful you are for what you have, the more good will come your way. And that includes people who express their gratitude for having you!
And a little white wine flowing along with the gratitude never hurts!
What are you grateful for?
I just woke up happy! No reason in particular, I looked around and felt appreciation for everyone and everything in my life. Simple things are what matter, a cool breeze on my face, or the sunshine. The taste of something refreshing, clean sheets, a hot shower, talking to a friend, lunch with a friend, or laughing in rememberance.
There have been countless quotes, studies, books and discussions on achieving personal happiness. Many refer to it either as something elusive which finds you when you’re not looking for it, or as something inside of you that you consciously decide to activate – an appreciation of your life that becomes part of your daily living. However, we should not discount our environment as an important component in our happiness levels. Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a medical sociologist and doctor at Harvard, and James Fowler, a political scientist and professor at UC San Diego, have attempted to prove this through a twenty-year longitudinal study of over 4,000 individuals. The results of the study demonstrated that happiness appears to be contagious. Dr. Christakis refers to the spread of happiness as a “ripple effect” that extends outward to as far as three degrees of separation.
Collective Network Phenomenon
Dr. Nicholas Christakis refers to happiness as a “collective network phenomenon,” asserting that being part of a social network gives you a greater chance of happiness. This collective network gives people a sense of connection and belonging and acts as a platform from which all emotions can be transferred to others within the network; and although this also includes the potential for spreading misery among others, studies have found that happiness seems to spread more consistently than unhappiness. The fact is, the more people in a network you have access to, the more potential for acquiring a positive “recharge” whenever you need it. In similar fashion, James Fowler states, “Every friend increases the probability that you’re at the center of a network, which means you are more eligible to get a wave of happiness.”
Dr. Christakis also states that the potential for other people in your social network to affect your mood in positive ways diminishes over time and geographic distance. The closer you are physically to your network, the better the signal, with phone and computer communication diluting the strength of the “energy wave” of emotion. Those who are closer to the center of their social network tend to be happier than those further outside the circle. This social network is diverse, made up of friends, family, spouses, roommates, and neighbors. Through up to three degrees of separation, Dr. Christakis found evidence of happiness spreading as far as to your friends’ friends’ friends, essentially passing happiness to strangers. That’s impressive!
In a separate study, researchers found that one person’s mood could have an immediate impact on another’s, especially through imitating the other person’s facial expressions and body mannerisms. In such circumstances, someone could catch a mood in as little as a few seconds.
In a world essentially made up of energy, it comes as no surprise that emotions can spread like a virus. There is supporting evidence that increased happiness has a positive impact on overall health – on a basic level, the happier the individual, the less stress hormones they will produce, which directly affects the immune system. The chemicals your body releases when you are happy aid you in living longer and offer you a better chance of fighting disease and other health problems. Being a part of a social network gives you access to emotional support and a reservoir of positive energy, and the more conscious you are of this process and its impact on you, the more control you can wield over your environment, your feelings and your health. There’s no time like the present to immerse yourself in your own “crowd” and inhale the HAPPINESS!!
Along with happiness comes appreciation. Appreciation for all the good, interesting, comforting people and things in your life. And in this time of thanksgiving give thanks for them. Giving thanks promotes happiness. I am happy! And I share this energy with you all…
What makes you happy? Share your happy energy….Let’s spread the happiness!