Where I've Been and the Power of Gratitude

I just returned from an amazing solo trip to Laos and Cambodia (hence the reason I haven’t been posting lately). Traveling is one of my greatest passions; it truly feeds my soul.

Exploring foreign lands, especially developing countries, always gives me a wider perspective on life and deeper gratitude for all that I have, like clean water, hot showers and easy access to medical care. It also reminds me of how little one needs to be happy.

The Power of Gratitude
Like travel, the holidays also serve as a wonderful reminder to be grateful for all that’s good in our lives. However, the benefits of practicing gratitude year-round are endless from a stronger immune system, higher metabolism, sounder sleep and reduced stress to increased energy, more rewarding relationships and greater life satisfaction.  

6 Simple Gratitude Practices
Here are six simple practices to help you cultivate a daily attitude of gratitude:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal by recording five or so things big and small everyday that you’re grateful for. 
     
  2. Create a gratitude jar. Anytime you experience a poignant moment of gratitude, write it on a piece of paper and drop it in a jar. Once or twice a year, perhaps on your birthday and New Year’s Eve, empty the jar and review everything you wrote.
     
  3. Write a gratitude letter to someone who has had a profound impact on your life expressing your appreciation for all the gifts she or he has given you.
     
  4. Share the day’s grateful moments around the dinner table. Doing so will surely lead to some heart-warming, memorable conversations.
     
  5. When you tuck your kiddo into bed or snuggle up with your partner at night, share three things each of you are grateful for.
     
  6. Express gratitude for each part of your body as you apply lotion to it. For example, thank your legs for enabling you to exercise, your arms for carrying your child, or your hands for performing millions of miracles throughout the day from tying shoes and texting friends to scratching your dog's belly and selecting a perfectly ripe avocado.

Also, did you know that counting your blessings rather than your calories will empower your metabolism far more? Here's why.