How to Practice Gratitude Without Saying One Word

Ladders Article Here

Over the past 2,00 years, the Nguni tribe have lived on the soil of Southern Africa. For the Nguni tribe, non-verbal communication is an integral part of their daily interactions and way of life.

For example, interacting with someone whilst keeping your hands in your pocket, is considered to be impolite. Conversely, presenting a gift to a host who has invited you to visit their home is a polite gesture. [1]

Within the context of practicing gratitude, we often emphasize the importance of words in expressing gratitude i.e saying thank you, stating what you are grateful for etc. However, non-verbal communication, gestures and actions, also play a crucial role in practicing and expressing gratitude. Here’s how.

Practicing gratitude as a habit

“Your actions speak so loud, that I can’t hear what you say” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the most important ways the Nguni people practice gratitude is through gestures. For example, when receiving a gift, both hands are held out in a cupped position.

According to communications professor at DePauw University, Melanie Finney, this gesture means that “the gift you give me means so much that I must hold it in two hands.” [1]

This powerful gesture is an example of practicing gratitude, highlighting that it’s not just what you say; it’s what you do that matters more.

Here are some ways this can be applied in everyday life:

  • As a Manager or Leader: It’s not just about telling your team how great a leader you are, it’s about showing them by listening to their needs and leading by example.
  • As an Entrepreneur: It’s not just about telling your customers how much you care about them, it’s about innovating new ideas to solve their pain points.
  • As a Friend: It’s not just about telling your friend that you value the friendship, it’s about consistently showing up to support your friend in times of need.
  • As a Partner: It’s not just about telling your partner that you love them, it’s about consistently expressing this love as a habit, regardless of whether you feel like it or not.
  • As a Fellow Human Being: It’s not just about expressing sympathy for the poor, needy and those in desperate need for help, it’s about investing time and money into improving the quality of the lives of impoverished people.

There are many more ways gratitude could be practiced in your life. The key lesson here from the Nguni people is that gratitude is a lifestyle of doing and giving not just talking and receiving.

In the words of Albert Einstein, “The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.”

How are you going to practice your gratitude this week?

Mayo Oshin writes at, where he shares practical self-improvement ideas and proven science for better health, productivity and creativity. To get practical ideas on how to stop procrastinating and build healthy habits, you can join his free weekly newsletter here.

A version of this article originally appeared at as “How How to Practice Gratitude Without Saying One Word”

One of my absolute favorite YouTubers is a man by the name Ralph Smart, aka Infinite Waters. He has such loving, positive energy and words of wisdom that has helped open the mind to millions. So, for the 23rd day of the blogging challenge, I am sharing a video I stumbled upon this morning. I…

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Narcissist’s Mixed Messages

Psych Central Article Here

The irony is that narcissists are consistently inconsistent.

If you are in love with someone who sends you constant mixed messages, it can be emotionally damaging to you personally, even causing you to lose your sense of self.  The constant sending of mixed messages causes you to lose trust with your own reality and intuition. You start walking on eggshells because you want to prevent the constant shifts from occurring, not completely realizing the power is 100 percent outside of yourself.

Other terms for this type of experience are “ambivalence,” “gas lighting,” and “mind f%$#ery.”

Mixed messages can come in the following forms:

  • False promises or statements; examples would be telling you they’ll take you somewhere or buy you something in the future, and then it never happens.
  • Doing something mean to you and then acting as if it didn’t just happen and if you try to bring it up, they’ll say something like, “Quit living in the past,” or, “Why are you always so negative?”
  • Taking you out on a fabulous date Friday night and then giving you the silent treatment on Saturday.
  • Promising you your heart’s desires and then withdrawing the promisesblaming you for the change, making statements such as, “You shouldn’t have done ‘such and such,’” or, “I didn’t realize you were so…” or, “You should have thought of that before you did ‘x, y, or z.’”
  • Lying. Emotional abusers seem to be chronic liars. If you try to hold them accountable, they simply deny saying whatever it was you know you heard them say.
  • Using the “Bait and Switch” approach. They act like one person and then become another. You keep wondering, “Where did he/she go?  I know he/she’s in there somewhere.”
  • They don’t “walk the talk.” You hear a lot of words coming out of the abuser’s mouth, but you don’t see any concrete results. It’s always easy to talk about anything; much harder to actually do something meaningful. Narcissists are master false promisers.
  • Having double standards. Here’s a perfect example. A narcissist will lecture you about how you’re dressed – even though you look terrific and are in great shape – while he/she’s 50 pounds overweight and does nothing to take care of his/her appearance.


The truth is, emotional abuse is very destructive.  It is particularly destructive because it “falls under the radar.” Others don’t see it, or get it, and oftentimes, neither does the victim. If you are subjected to emotional abuse in the form of mixed messages you most likely don’t even realize you are being abused.

If you are the victim of this experience, then you will experience the following symptoms:

  • Confusion. You will find yourself continually wondering – What happened? Where is he/she? What went wrong? What did I do? How can I fix this? And you look to the abuser for the answers. Yes, he/she will give you answers, but only ones that hurt and confuse you further.
  • Extrinsic Focus. You spend countless hours focusing on the other person – his/her thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In the process, you aren’t checking in on your own internal voice, feelings, and intuition. You begin measuring your life based on the other person’s actions. Since the other person has a fragmented personality you will never find the stability you need by focusing in that direction.
  • Loss of Self. Because the other person never validates your reality, you stop validating it yourself. You begin to doubt your own experience, and finally lose your sense of reality altogether.

What do you do about it?

If you are subject to this type of problem then you need to do something to rescue yourself. First and foremost is to stop listening to the other person and start listening to your own inner voice. It is important for you to learn how to change the communication patterns you have been conditioned to.

Over time, while in a relationship with an emotional abuser, you have fallen in to a way of relating that is not healthy. In order to survive you have been taught and have taught yourself to turn off your own voice, listening only to the voice of the other person. Make your voice the compass, not the other person’s.

As you start listening to yourself instead of the other person, you will most likely face resistance from him/her. Don’t let this trouble you. Realize this – you haven’t been able to please this person anyway so you might as well stop trying. This is step three – stop walking on eggshells. Simply walk. Just be yourself. Say what you want to say and do what you want to do. As the other person loses control over you, he/she will be angry. He/she will “up the ante” and start doing retaliatory behaviors.  After all, you have dared to rebel!

Once you listen to yourself instead of the other person and stop walking on eggshells, realize you have declared war. I know it seems ridiculous that these two simple acts are hostile – because they really aren’t – but the narcissist will feel and believe that these acts are hostile on your behalf. He/she will panic because of his/her loss of control over you. This is detrimental to his/her side of the relationship.

In order to survive this war declaration, you must be at a place where you are no longer dependent on the other person for anything – emotional, financial, or physical. The narcissist will retaliate by taking away anything that you value, especially him/herself. As he/she loses grips on you, he/she will frantically search for a new victim. You will probably experience the silent treatment and “ghosting,” followed by a discard. You will be discarded. Mark my words. The narcissist sees no other alternative.

Yes, it is crazy. Yes, it makes no common sense to the average person who simply wants a loving relationship that is mutually satisfying. Afterall, you have no need to control other people in order to survive. But the best thing you can do for your recovery from this insanity is to rescue yourself. Take care of yourself. Walk away. This is the last step.

Walking away is hard, but what else can you do? Do you want to spend the rest of your life subjected to warfare just because you want to express your autonomy?  Is there any value in any relationship where you can’t be who you are?

Even if you don’t physically walk away from the relationship entirely; say you are married to this person or it is a parent and you are still tied to the person structurally, then you are still stuck with a discard situation. Don’t lie to yourself.  In this case, you will have to mentally detach from the relationship if you want to be yourself. You will have to live a life without having any needs met by the other person because he/she is incapable of meeting them. especially on your terms.


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9 simple ways to make your mornings less painful

Author Article here!

When you’re a working mom, a busy college student, or a young professional, mornings can be jam-packed with racing around as you handle endless to-dos. For anyone looking to make over their morning routine, there are a plethora of products geared toward getting bright-eyed if you’re a night owl, healthy breakfasts to give anyone an energizing boost, and recommended morning habits to jump-start your day, but the sheer volume of suggestions can seem overwhelming. Laura Vanderkam — time management expert and author of Off the Clock — is stepping in to share some proven simple ways to turn your hassled mornings into more manageable and productive parts of the week.

1. List out your priorities. Vanderkam suggests making a list of your current top priorities. “Time management is, fundamentally, about spending more time on things that matter to you and less on things that don’t. Getting clear on priorities gives you a framework for deciding what belongs in your schedule and what doesn’t (or should be minimized if it can’t be avoided).” Write down what you want to accomplish with your mornings — whether it’s exercise, spending more time with your kids, or working on a passion project.

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2. Use mornings to pay yourself first. Once you’ve figured out the top priority your morning should advance, focus on it when you’re the freshest. Exercise is often a great way to start the day, since it can give you a natural boost of energy. If family dinners are tough to wrangle, family breakfasts together would be a wonderful time to connect. If you maintain a full-time job while working on a side hustle (like writing a novel, starting a business, or painting), mornings might be a window of time to dedicate energy for it. For college students, Vanderkam shares, “If your classmates sleep in until 10, getting up at 8:30am — not exactly the crack of dawn — can open up what feels like extra time.”

3. Knock out your toughest tasks before the rest. In her book, Vanderkam writes, “Planning your toughest task for when you have the most energy means you can cut that task from two hours to one.” When starting your day’s work — whether you’re a freelancer or full-time employee — figure out which project will take the most discipline, then tackle it early. Reserve routine tasks for later in the day when most people’s energy is lower. “Leaving an important task to a time of day when you’re likely to get distracted means it will take longer,” reminds Vanderkam.

4. Simplify routines. In Off the Clock, Vanderkam suggests a number of ways to free up more time by streamlining common tasks: You might designate a specific spot for car keys in the morning, or you could create a FAQ document to copy and paste when someone wants to “pick your brain.” For mornings specifically, Vanderkam recommends either winnowing down your wardrobe to what works best for you on a daily basis (making it easier to choose your #OOTD) or preselecting your clothes for the next day before you sleep (so you’re ready to dress as soon as you’re up).

5. Cut down on distractions. Our biggest time suck in the morning is digging into emails or social media as part of “getting ready” before heading to the office or plunging into the day’s routine. While it may seem like looking at your phone is productive, Vanderkam says that avoiding being buried in your phone first thing in the morning can free up time to exercise, meditate, and connect with loved ones.

6. Find reflection time. Remembering what you’re grateful for through journaling, meditating, or writing down gratitude lists is a way to make your day feel more spacious and inviting. A busy morning can make a lot of people feel like they have zero time to reflect, but Vanderkam points out that there are often hidden opportunities we can uncover. “Think of the shower as reflective time. You probably find time to shower, so as you’re in there, think about your day, what you like about your life, and what you’re grateful for.”

7. Wake up 10 minutes early. Using your mornings well doesn’t mean you have to get up at 5am. Setting your clock even just 10 minutes before you need to start your day can be an excellent way to squeeze in your priorities or new goals. “Waking up a little bit early means you can use this time for something that’s important to you that life has a way of crowding out,” encourages Vanderkam. “You could write in a journal for five minutes, do some push-ups and sit-ups, and have a great morning routine.”

8. Swap unproductive evening hours for productive morning routines. If you’re genuinely doing your best work at night, then you’re a night owl. But for most people who say they’re “not morning people,” says Vanderkam, what it really means is just that they’re still tired when they wake up. Evaluate how you spend your evenings. If you could cut back on something that’s not a priority to go to bed a bit earlier, you could start the morning more refreshed and ready to make the most of it — or even wake up a little sooner.

9. Design your morning. To make over your mornings, Vanderkam says, “Think about what you could reliably do at least a few times a week, even when things go wrong. You don’t have to move mountains in one shove. You just have to do a little bit at a time and just keep going.” She gives some examples: “If you write 250 words every morning, you could finish a draft of a novel in a year. Lifting weights three mornings a week would make you stronger in six months.” Craft a morning routine that you like rather than trudging through what you dislike (which slows you down).

This article originally appeared on Brit + Co.

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