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The Habit of Gratitude

img_2957One of the challenges to living in a state of joy is keeping the mind at peace.  Our minds have been trained to look for things to worry about.  We are used to working on “problems” or trying to avoid things that can cause us pain.  While there is a time and place for that to occur, often we are worrying rather than solving problems.  Yet, trying to redirect the mind when it thinks it has found something to be concerned about can be really tough!  Recently, I started a new technique that I’ve been finding really effective, so I thought I would pass it on to all of you.  I’m calling it the “habit of gratitude.”

Basically, what I started doing was when I noticed myself getting uptight or worried, I started looking around for things to be thankful for.  I would start mentally saying thank you for everything that caught my attention. For example, this morning when I was walking, I started mentally saying the following, “Thank you for the beautiful blue sky.  Thank you for these warm clothes. Thank you for my comfortable shoes. Thank you for the warm sun on my back. Thank you for the beautiful green bushes. Thank you for the refreshing breeze. Thank you for my strong muscles that let me walk easily. Thank you for my health. Thank you for the palm trees.  Thank you for my loved ones. Thank you for this opportunity to be walking. Thank you for my Angels.”  After just a few minutes of this, I was feeling lighter and happier. My whole energy system had shifted and I was smiling!

I have heard it said that it takes 21 days to create a new habit.  I have just started this practice, so it hasn’t become a habit for me yet, but I hope that I can stick to it and make it one.  Want to join me?  This month, let’s get into the habit of looking for all the wonderful things to be grateful for.  When you aren’t sure what to think about or if you start feeling worried, shift your focus and start saying thank you.

Trouble Sleeping? Try Gratitude!

Night time is often a very mentally active time for people (me included).  It is the time when we are finally still enough for all those thoughts we’ve held at bay to come to the forefront.  Sometimes they are worries and other times they are creative ideas.  Whatever the purpose behind them, they can make falling (or staying) asleep difficult.

I read a wonderful article by Leta Miller in Science of Mind Magazine on Sunday.  In it, Miller shared a technique she uses combining gratitude with a way to still the mental chatter.  She recommends going through the “ABC’s of gratitude” to help yourself be still and fall asleep.  It works like this:  Start with “A” and think of something you are grateful for that starts with that letter (for instance Angels or Air to breathe).  Continue this process with all the letters of the alphabet (or as many as you get through before you fall asleep).  She also recommends using a shorter word during the day when you need a little gratitude pick me up.  Try using your name or a focus word like peace.

I was having some trouble sleeping last night and I used this technique.  It worked wonderfully!  What a good way to keep your mind focused on positive things while also allowing you to relax enough to fall asleep!

Blessings to you and yours!


Nancy Nicholas is an Intuitive Life Coach who provides spiritual insight with practical coaching to empower positive change.  She offers empowerment readings, products, and programs to empower you to nurture yourself, grow your gifts, and create a life you love!  Learn more at her website: