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One Minute to Happiness

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The holidays are among us. Thanksgiving causes some families to briefly ponder those things for which they are grateful. Then they dig into their food, stuff themselves silly, and watch football for the rest of the day. Ahhh … America. What about the rest of the holiday season? I find it to be the perfect time to continue to focus on the best things in my life.

As the world economy continues to slide, the fear among us seems to rise. Fear of losing our jobs, losing our homes, not finding work, losing our retirement savings, losing our businesses. These fears may be a reality for you, and if you are dealing with a loss like these, my heart goes out to you.

Whether you are coping with a major loss or you are just fearful that one will come your way, there is no time better than the holidays to ponder the aspects of your life for which you are grateful. When we truly feel gratitude throughout our entire being, the world looks a little brighter and things tend to turn in our favor.

Fully feeling gratitude is a wonderful experience.
We often give a mental thought of thanks, and we neglect our bodies in the process. Fully feeling gratitude is a full body escapade. To try it out for yourself, follow these steps.

1. Think of one person/thing/experience for which you are thankful.

Family, friends, food in the refrigerator, a full tank of gas, the older gentleman who opened the door for you earlier in the day … whatever you choose is perfect.

2. Ask yourself, “What do I appreciate about this person/thing/experience?” List everything you can imagine.

I appreciate the farm-fresh food in my refrigerator. It makes me think about the farm that grows it. The kind farmers who grow that produce (yes, I know them). The smiles they flash when we see them. The recipes they share. The fun I have when I cook their vegetables. How my body loves their nourishment. The smells in my house when I cook. The sweetness of the squash and the tartness of the apples.

3. Experience this person/thing/experience with all five of your senses as if it is happening right now. Spend one full minute experiencing one person/thing/experience.

Seriously, take a minute RIGHT NOW.

4. Notice how you feel.
Likely you have a smile on your face and you feel warm inside. If you weren’t feeling happy when you started reading this article, I bet you’re on your way now.

Experiencing gratitude for one minute puts you on the road to more happiness. Five minutes and you may get there.

Repeat this exercise for five things every day. Experience gratitude for the smallest and biggest things in your life. Acknowledge the abundance you receive, especially on days where you find yourself feeling fearful or feeling like you don’t have enough.

Gratitude for what we have (and we truly have a lot, even when things look otherwise) is where we find happiness. And you can create it, one minute at a time.

Happy Holidays to all!

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