RELEASING ENDORPHINS WITH AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE

 

Katelyn:  All my life I have been very hard on myself.  I decided in this class to be more compassionate.  At first I started to let go of smaller things I used to get angry about, like spilling a drink or hitting my head on the wall over my bed.  Now I have moved to bigger situations where I can provide compassion to myself.  Yesterday I took a Property Law test.  I studied and studied some more, but when I got the test, I froze and ended up with only an 88.  I managed to let it go and not stay up all night worrying about it.  I am really proud of myself for this.

 

In Water the Flowers, Not the Weeds, Fletcher Peacock reminds us to give our attention to parts of our lives we want to encourage.  It can be habitual to see only the parts of our gardens, and our lives, which need fixing.  We often forget to acknowledge parts of our lives that are working well. 

 

Rosenberg recommends that every day we take twenty minutes journaling about the just-right-ness already existing, life-affirming decisions we made, and our inspired positive actions.  Here is a three-part exercise on appreciating self, life, and others.

 

Start with yourself.  Journal or look in the mirror or at least take a few quiet minutes daily to notice and appreciate, to yourself, some things you have done that pleased you.  Make an observation and then identify the feeling and the need met.  (No request is needed.) 

 

I made it to the gym today.  I am proud because I followed through on a commitment as well as getting healthier. 

 

I took time to call my sick aunt.  That was satisfying.  She has always taken time for me and I really liked being able to give something back to her.

 

When Jeremy asked me to go out partying last night, I said, “no, thanks” because I wanted to get more sleep.  I felt rested this morning and full of energy. 

 

I had a great time partying with Jeremy last night.  I got to see some old friends and I took a much-needed break from my studies. 

 

 

I APPRECIATE ME:  Craft a 3-part appreciation (Observation, Feelings, and Needs met) of something specific you did yesterday that pleased you or brought a moment of satisfaction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

J THE NEXT STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT.  GIVE IT SOME TIME. J

 

Reflection:  Take two minutes to sit with the feeling from the above exercise.  How did it taste and feel?  Let yourself get the benefits again of that energy going through your body.  This practice will literally change your body chemistry by releasing more endorphins. 

A second area to look at with appreciation is life.  Catch life doing something you enjoy and take a moment to notice it.  And then notice it again.  Re-feel the moment.  Smile.

 

The snowflakes were awesome this morning. 

 

I’m lucky to have so many cool friends living on this hall in the dorm.

 

That dinner really hit the spot—looked good and tasted marvelous.

 

Hey—I found a parking space first time around the block. 

 

 

I APPRECIATE LIFE:  Write a practice statement here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection:  Take two minutes to sit with the feeling from the above exercise.

 

 

And the third area for gratitude is to become aware of the kindness, the blessings that people around us bring to our lives.  It is easy to take it for granted, to become blind to it.  A relationship-building practice is to notice daily and comment on specific actions that please you, but for this exercise, just cultivate your observation and gratitude. 

 

Practice gathering appreciations.  Notice the specific moment of beauty.  Focus on the action that brings you joy.  Really see it and feel it.  Breathe it in.  Taste it.

 

I noticed how graciously Pat took it when I brought home extra guests tonight.  I am grateful.

 

I remembered again how much I like Christopher’s sense of humor—we were all laughing.

 

When Jeanne brought fresh flowers to my home, I imagined being out in the meadows and relaxed.

 

The young boy who was playing so earnestly with his dog today at the park, warmed my heart.

 

 

I APPRECIATE THE ACTIONS OF OTHERS:  Write a practice statement here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection:  Take two minutes to sit with the feeling from the above exercise.