High Speed Train To Happiness

Why is it that certain events – the death of a close friend, a serious illness or the loss of a job – force us to take an inventory of what is really important in life?

My wake-up call came about ten years ago with a frightening case of vertigo that found me alone in my apartment on the floor of the shower at 6AM. I was diagnosed with benign positional vertigo, an imbalance in the inner ear exacerbated by stress. After eight weeks of medication to keep my equilibrium in check, I realized that if I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning and my world was literally spinning, nothing else really mattered. No amount of designer handbags, beach vacations or A-list parties were going to make me happy. What did matter was feeling healthy, being able to function well and having the people that I love in my life.

Our perception of what is happening at any given moment hugely affects how we feel. When we develop our awareness and understanding that all things work for the greater good, no matter how seemingly bad they may appear, our attitude begins to shift. Instead of viewing my vertigo as “bad”, I saw it as an opportunity to take better care of myself and evaluate what was most important in my life. It became an incredible lesson and a big part of who I have grown into today.

It is impossible to experience negative emotions such as fear and anxiety when you are feeling grateful. Developing an attitude of gratitude is one of the most important things you can do for attracting and manifesting that things you desire in life. It also operates as the high speed train to happiness.

Here are five tips to help you create more gratitude in your own life:

1. Start A Mental Gratitude List – mentally go over the things in your life you are most grateful for. No item is too big or too small – a hot shower, a home-cooked meal, the air we breathe. Do this on a daily basis – I find that a five minute morning meditation or spending a couple of minutes in the shower is ideal.

2. Keep A Gratitude Journal – every night before you go to bed, or each morning before you rise, take five minutes to write out at least 5-10 things that you are grateful for.

3. Show Appreciation For Others
– give compliments generously and always be willing to lend a hand. It’s human nature to look for and comment on “what’s wrong.” When you begin to practice more gratitude in your life, look for “what’s right” and make sure you share it with your loved ones. Practice random acts of kindness.

4. Count Your Blessings – find a quiet place where you can write without distractions. Light a candle or play Mozart in the background, whatever will give you focus. Without stopping, write out 100 things for which you are grateful – people, places, situations etc. You may find yourself becoming emotional. This is good. Remember, the more we are in a state of gratitude, the better manifestors we become. When you are finished, make sure you put your list somewhere that you will see it on a daily basis. You may even want to revisit it as a daily five minute meditation.

5. Smile – many of you have seen me include this tip on quite a few lists, but I believe that if we all smiled more and treated each other with the grace and respect we all deserve, we would abolish at least half of the world’s ills. At the very least, we’d all be a lot happier.

Author Melodie Beattie put it best, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Today, my vertigo is under control. I have learned to manage my stress level better and something called the Epley maneuver keeps my inner ear imbalance in check. And for that, I am grateful.

©Liz Dennery Sanders 2009

Liz Dennery Sanders wants you to build your buzz and be successful beyond your wildest dreams. As the CEO of Dennery Marks Inc., a brand development and celebrity outreach firm, she founded SheBrand, to help female entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners build powerful personal brands with style, attract more clients and position themselves as experts in their industries. You can reach her directly at info@shebrand.com or www.shebrand.com.

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