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  • NJ Hypnotist James Malone

You are Appreciated!

A wise friend of mine once said something to the effect that we seem to appreciate what we have most prior to getting it or after we lose it. During the time in between, not so much. It seems to be basic human nature to take the people, places, and things in our lives for granted.

You might wish you lived in more elegant surroundings, yet how often are you grateful for the roof you currently have overhead? Trust me, a lot of homeless folks would be thrilled to trade places with you. Yet we act like what we currently have will always be with us.

Much has been written about how a practice of intentional gratitude can enhance our mental and physical wellbeing. This is where we create a habit pattern (daily is best) to take stock and notice what we have to be grateful for. It could be something big like a close relationship or having good health or the smaller things like a meal we enjoyed, watching the antics of a pet, or witnessing a beautiful sunset. The important thing is to make a point of noticing-otherwise it might as well not be there.

In doing so, you are actually training your mind to be on the lookout for things to appreciate, and this is quite important. For example, studies of successful people indicate that it's not that they necessarily have more opportunities in life, it's that they are actively seeking and are more open to the possibilities around them than other people. This is due to a structure in the brain referred to as the reticular activating system (RAS) that filters what we notice and what we disregard. You tend to be drawn to whatever it is that you focus on. The RAS can most definitely be trained to your advantage.

You might consider posting a reminder in your living space to pause and think of at least 3 things daily that you appreciate. First thing in the morning or prior to bedtime would be a good time to establish the habit.

To extend this practice, consider making it a regular habit of letting the important people in your life that you appreciate them as well. You might possibly make their day and it will feel pretty good on your end too.

I'd like to leave you with a quote from the global spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh.

"When we're having a toothache, we know that not having a toothache is a wonderful thing. Yet when don't have a toothache, we're still not happy. A non-toothache is very pleasant."

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