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The Gift of Gratitude

Article by Lisa Borchetta, MACP, CPC, ACC, in Wellbeing

It’s not uncommon for post-divorced individuals to look back with a critical eye at the reasons why they married their ex-spouse in the first place. That pervasive feeling that “clearly someone made a mistake somewhere” bubbles to the surface over and over again. After going through the  process of separation and divorce where differences between you and your one-time partner become magnified it isn’t surprising that you would wonder, “What was I possibly thinking!?!” And while spending some time looking at your thought process and decision making factors may have some usefulness down the line, the results are often more likely to just stir the negative pot of emotions regarding how you feel about; the influential people in your life, your ex and yourself. The reality is that for whatever reasons you thought were good enough at the time – you chose to get married and it didn’t work out. So now what?

Rather than get caught up in the “blame game”, the self-recrimination and damaging judgments – your task now is to move forward – in as healthy a way as is possible. Research in the field of Positive Psychology, has shown that one of the most reliable ways to experience and enhance your sense of happiness and life satisfaction is to practice gratitude. And lest you think this is merely an exercise in donning a pair of “rose-colored glasses” – let me add a little reality check – rarely are there situations in life that are all bad with no recoverable opportunities for healing, growth and goodness.Human resiliency is outstandingly real – and one need only wait for the closing “human interest story” one each evening news broadcast – to have the cockles of their heart warmed by endless stories of triumph over tragedy.

So back to; gratitude. According to Wikipedia gratitude is defined as, “a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.”They go on to site research from Positive Psychology which indicates that “grateful people are; happier, less depressed, less stressed and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships.” In fact, research has attributed numerous benefits to gratitude, including: more positive coping strategies, higher sense of control of your environment, and even better sleep, just to name a few. So here’s a little exercise to try to cultivate and enhance your sense of gratitude.

Create a Gratitude Journal –

·Find a time once a week to write down things you are grateful for in your life.(You may choose to do this exercise daily if you prefer.)

·Pick a quiet time of day when you can step outside of your life and reflect.

·It can be first thing in the morning, before you go to sleep or any time you can carve out of your day for a little quiet reflection.

·Ponder three things for which you are currently grateful – from the mundane to the magnificent. Be as specific as possible.

·And write them down in your journal.

If you have to start small, and then start small – not everything needs to be momentous. But the more you attune yourself toward gratitude the better you will feel and the need to assign blame will lessen. Doesn’t that sound better to you?

I am most sincerely grateful to share this, with you!

Lisa Borchetta, MACP, CMC, ACC is a Certified Life Coach and owner of Firebird Life Coaching. In addition to her coaching work with individual and group clients, Lisa is also a public speaker, teacher and writer. She is a former Mental Health Counselor and holds a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology. Lisa writes for HopeAfterDivorce.org, FamilyShare.com, CupidsPulse.com, and LAFamily.com. You can visit Lisa’s website at www.firebirdlifecoaching.com, her blog at firebirdlifecoach.wordpress.com and her FB page at www.facebook.com/FirebirdLifeCoaching.I am most sincerely grateful to share this, with you!

 

 

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