Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Radio Days: Gratitude

(Bubbles in espresso - Photo by Wanda Tucker; copyright 2005; all rights reserved.)

Yesterday I was a guest on The Coaching Corner with Irene Gutmann at wrcr in Rockland County, New York. We had a fun time talking about gratitude.

It is amazing how fast a half hour goes on the radio! And Irene was a very relaxed seamless host. With Thanksgiving coming up here in the U.S. we thought the topic is timely.

I understand that the live stream wasn't working at the web site for wrcr, so if you want to hear the show, send me an email and I'll get it to you somehow. Irene will send me a tape once she gets copies made. I just received a message from her saying that she may keep this show in her "best of" file for future reference.

So what about gratitude?

What are the benefits?
Here's a partial list:
  • Taking time to be grateful can change your outlook on life,
  • make you feel better,
  • even cause you to be more optimistic.
  • By focusing on what is good, we can achieve more balance (i.e., not just focus on what is "wrong").
  • Sleep may improve when we focus on what we are grateful for at bed time and let go of what is bothering us.
  • Being more relaxed as a result of gratitude practice may even help lower blood pressure. (Sorry, I don't have the research to prove this. It is my belief.)

This isn't about being a Pollyanna and not paying attention to those things which we can do something about. It is about giving us a new outlook: an attitude of gratitude.

How to do it?

Developing a Gratitude Practice is easy. There is no one right way to do it. Do what works for you. That being said, here are a couple of ideas that might be useful to you:

1. Find an Anchor. An anchor is like a trigger. Each time you come across your anchor, you "remember" to do your practice. You can anchor to time, place, object, or activity, for example:

  • Time - every day at 8:00 a.m. and/or 8:00 p.m. (Choose the time that is best for you.)
  • Place - whenever you are in the kitchen or the bathroom or your car. (Think what this would do for road rage if everyone were to try it!)
  • Object - whenever you are at a red traffic light or see a fire hydrant. Any object will do--a pencil, a computer....
  • Activity - whenever you brush your teeth, fold laundry, wait for a web page to load.

2. Find things or concepts or issues of all sizes to be thankful for. It is easy to be thankful for our family and friends, having enough to eat, living in a place where we can be free. Think of tiny things and huge things and medium things: like the beauty of the bubbles in your coffee cup, people who are working to end world hunger, having a warm house in the winter.

3. Stretch yourself. Think of at least one new thing to be grateful for each time you do your practice. Try being grateful for something that didn't go the way you had hoped or planned, because it gives you the opportunity to learn a new way.

Let me know how your practice goes.

Let me know now, some things you are grateful for.

Blessings to you all,

Wanda Tucker, Coach


sar_girl said...

I am actually greatful for my upcoming surgery. I am very optimistic it will give me a new start on life with my health and way I fell. I have people who feel bad for me but inside I am smiling! :)

Wanda Tucker said...

It is okay to smile on the outside, too. :)

I wish you all the best and I will be thinking of you. Keep me posted.