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Gratitude…Antidote to Stress and Anxiety

Gratitude: Simple Things Become Extraordinary!

by Michael Gusack

Good Day (or evening) !

When you are distressed and anxious and upset with your current situation, you often hear that you need to  “count your blessings”. That is supposed to ease your concerns. Today, for a moment, consider this.

Gratitude can perhaps best be cultivated when you appreciate the simple things in life. The ordinary things. These are the things…or people…you normally take for granted:

* A bed to sleep in
* The ability to breathe in a breath of fresh air…your lungs, your mouth, your nose
* A car to drive so you don’t have to walk long distances
* The Earth your feet can touch…Thank You!
* Breakfast…Yes!
* Your children…especially the one who drives you crazy:-)
* Your life partner…Eckhart Tolle says “Relationships are not there to make us happy. They are there to make us conscious.” So many opportunities:-)
* Being conscious (while awake…no sleep walking:-)
* Sleep…Ahhh!
* Eyesight
* Your heart…what an amazing machine
* Hearing…my hearing aids help me appreciate what hearing I have
* A cool breeze

And so on. And if you are lacking something on the above list, then, certainly, the idea is to appreciate what you DO have in the interest of balance and perspective.

Here’s a practice I learned years ago as a walking meditation:

1. As you walk with each left or right step in sequence repeat 3 times
Thank You!, Thank You!, Thank You! (appreciation to the Earth for being there for your feet to touch…or, of course anything or anyone you appreciate for which your are grateful).

2. Then, as you step repeat 3 times
Yes! Yes! Yes! (appreciation to Life (GOD) for sustaining each step, each breath)

You can just as easily practice while you walk in circles in your living room as in your neighborhood or on the street or sidewalk or trail.

When you no longer take your life for granted, each moment is miraculous. The ordinary becomes extraordinary. Each moment is a gift. If you embrace all that you take for granted, it definitely takes the edge off your stress level, your anxiety, your upset.

And it’s best to practice this when “you don’t need to”…because you actually always need to. Best to be conscious of how precious are friends, family, health and peace (in any moment we have it).

Be Well,
Mike

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