How to Practice Gratitude Without Saying One Word

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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 MayoOshin.com, 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 mayooshin.com as “How How to Practice Gratitude Without Saying One Word”

How Journaling Can Teach You to Love Your Body

Author ArticleJournaling can transform not only my physical health, but also emotional and spiritual health.

I didn’t always love my body. In fact, for years, I hardly thought about it at all.

My body was a machine that I worked relentlessly and neglected constantly. It was simply a tool that my brain used to get where it needed to go. I paid no mind to aching muscles, searing headaches and other signs of stress and exhaustion. I ignored my body’s needs until a major health challenge forced me to stop and recognize the obvious: my body isn’t a machine at all. It’s an integral part of me that requires love, care and respect.

I began journaling every day as a way to get back in touch with my body. This practice has transformed not only my physical health but also my emotional and spiritual health. I started listening to what my body was telling me and making decisions to embrace a full, healthy and balanced life.

Why Journaling?

Researchers have been tracking the positive effects of journaling for decades.

Over the years, studies have found that expressive writing can lead to significant benefits, including short- and long-term health outcomesbetter immune system performancestress and anxiety reduction and relief from chronic illnesses, such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

And a 2017 study from the University of Arizona showed that for people going through a divorce, narrative writing exercises – telling the story of their divorce, not just documenting their feelings about it – improved how their bodies responded to cardiovascular stress.

Journaling helps us strengthen the mind-body connection that we often neglect. Putting pen to paper supports us in large and small ways, making room for our thoughts, feelings and experiences in a tangible way.

How to Start Journaling

  • Start small.
  • Make it a daily habit.
  • Feel free.

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. You may want to write lengthy entries every day, but start with a smaller, more manageable goal. Commit to writing for five minutes or a few lines, and congratulate yourself when you reach that goal. If you want to keep writing, go for it (and celebrate that victory too).

Build on your gradual start, and make your small journaling goal a part of your daily life. Find a time of day that works best for you – such as when you’re drinking your morning coffee or you’re about to get ready for bed. Don’t debate whether you should journal or not; just make it a daily habit.

If you can’t figure out what to journal about, try free-writing. Simply jot down anything that comes to mind without filtering or editing it. Keep your pen moving until you reach your writing goal.

5 Journaling Prompts

  1. Take several deep breaths, and do a mental scan of your body from head to toe. What feels good? What feels off? What is your body telling you?
  2. Imagine you have an entire day to pamper yourself. What do you do? How does each part of the day rejuvenate you?
  3. Write a love letter to your body. What do you appreciate about it? What are you thankful for? How can you express your gratitude?
  4. Describe a sensory experience that has stuck with you – a meal, a smell, a hike, a physical activity. What did it feel like throughout your body? Why did it make such an impression on you?
  5. Write about a time you felt wonderful in your own skin. What was happening? Why did you feel strong, beautiful, capable or empowered? How can you recreate that feeling?

Journaling is a powerful way to care for your body, as well as your mind and spirit. Make daily journaling an essential part of your journey to total aliveness.

This post courtesy of Spirituality & Health.

Attitude of Gratitude

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By Chloe Pattison

ATTITUDE OF GRATITIUDE

Words Chloe Pattison

Having an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ is more than just a catchy phrase. It is a reminder that there are things you have, every day, to be thankful for. Focussing on these things, instead of the things that will inevitably go wrong (it happens to the best of us) then you find yourself with a much more positive outlook and you may even find yourself with more opportunities to enjoy.

There are certain things you can practice that helps you be a more optimistic and thankful person. Practice positive thinking to turn your thoughts and your life around. The practice of yoga or other exercise you enjoy reduces any harmful things that stress and negativity will do to your body. Meditation, eating healthier and staying hydrated will work wonders for your body and your mindset too.

There have been multiple research studies done on what positive thinking can do for the mind and the body. Keeping your energy positive is a key thing to keeping your mind and body in a healthy place. The second you start focussing on the negatives, that’s when you start to feel anxious or depressed.

When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, think of a positive one to combat it. It is said that if you say five things you’re thankful for when you wake up, you are bound to have a good day. On top of that, if you say 5 things you’re grateful for before you sleep then you’re bound to have sweet dreams.

So, you get a great day and good dreams. If that’s not reason enough for you, then here’s some facts from the studies.

Due to the higher level of positive energy, people have reported:

• feeling less lonely,
• having a stronger immune system/ feeling generally healthier,-reduction of stress/ a higher level of positive feelings,
• greater level of confidence/ a general feeling of happiness.

Can’t think of anything you’re grateful for? Here are some examples:

• Good waves
• Sunshine
• A hot shower/bath after a cold surf session
• Surfing in the rain (it’s so fun and beautiful)
• The smell of surf wax
• Good music
• Not getting sand in your eyes

• Fluffy towels to dry off on (really makes the job much faster)
• 
Finally getting the wetsuit on/off
• Tasty food (or any food, really) after a long day on the waves
• Time to binge on your favourite surf movies
• Joyful beach day giggles with your friends

Make a list of all the things you’re grateful for and what makes you happy.

Be positive and plan all the cool things you’re going to do this year on our 2019 SurfGirl Wall Planner. 

6 Secrets From Highly Ambitious (And Successful) People

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By Lindsay Tigar

Inevitably on interviews with clients, in therapy, on dating profiles or during those randomly wine-fueled evenings with friends where conversations become intense, I’ve been asked how I would describe myself. There are plenty of adjectives I can come up with (I am a writer, after all) — but one that instantly comes to mind is ‘ambitious.’I’ve known I was destined to be a journalist since I was a kid and it is a career I’ve pursued fiercely for nearly all of my 30 years. This type of drive is innate and accessible for me, something that I don’t even have to think too much about to harbor and execute.

Being motivated to succeed and pursue the road ahead of you doesn’t have to be a skill you’re naturally born with though. Instead, you can derive those fundamentals of ambition by stealing a page out of the playbook of those who identify as highly-ambitious.

Here, they divulge their secrets.

Don’t settle for anything other than happiness

And while it would make sense for me to recommend you find a job that will fulfill all of your senses and drive you to the top — that isn’t what brings joy to everyone. I credit much of my drive to the fact that I love what I do. I’m lucky that writing, content strategy and editing are tasks I would do for free — in fact, I did until someone finally paid me. Creating pieces of work that inspire others, that shed light on an important topic or provide accurate, helpful information makes me happy.

Seeing my byline never gets old. But other people may source this same feeling by having a gig that allows for a healthy work/life balance. Or one that is so lucrative it allows them to pursue hobbies that excite them.

Whatever the source of your glee, you will find the most organic ambition by making it a priority. This means never settling for second-best or okay-enough—but going after what will eventually, get you to where you hope to be.

Don’t be afraid to take risks

The road to major accomplishments is rarely open-ended and free. More often than not, it’s congested with bumper-to-bumper traffic, in the rain, on a Tuesday, when you have a meeting in ten minutes. But taking that exit when you were terrified it would lead you the wrong way? It’s worth the risk.

Career and branding expert Wendi Weiner took a major leap of faith when she left an 11-year tenure in law to focus on the career she now has: “The biggest risk I took in my life was leaving law after an 11-year career in it to focus on my dreams of being a professional writer and career branding expert.”

“I told myself I was willing to risk making less money in exchange for greater personal and professional happiness. In the end, taking that risk was the best decision I ever made — I am more successful today and more financially secure than I ever was as a lawyer,” she shares.

Choose your company wisely

A work bestie is a blessing. So is a co-founder who basically shares a brainwave with you. But toxic, negative people who bring your spirit down? They gotta go on your path to an ambitious mindset. As the CEO and founder of Coddle, Sean Pathiratne explains, keeping company with people who are at least as passionate as he is, keeps him invigorated.

“I want people who inject oxygen into the room — not people who suck it out,” he calls it. This doesn’t mean people who only agree with you, but rather, those who make you a better version of yourself.

“I don’t want people to ‘yes’ me to death — I want to be challenged,” he continues. “What I’ve found is that these are also people I can learn from, and who inspire self-development.”

Set goals at different time parameters

It’s one thing to say you’re going to develop a blog for your industry that reaches thousands of people. It’s another to say you’ll do that within the next year. To keep her ambitious self on course, Weiner shares she doesn’t just think long-term or big picture, but weekly, monthly and yearly.

She explains these small, targeted goals help her focus and gives her a way to reflect on areas she’s excelled at and ones she’s falling short. Whether you write these micro benchmarkers down by hand or set a reminder on your calendar, tracking progress will ensure continuous progress.

Know where you want to go

Though every step of the way is important, sure, having a clear vision to the end-all-be-all spot in your career can help navigate your choices too, founder and CEO of the RFP Success Company, Lisa Rehurek shares. She explains when you can picture that place you’re going, it makes everything along the way hassle-free.

“I revisit it on a regular basis and adjust as necessary, and all roads lead back to that vision. Knowing what I ultimately want allows me to make quick decisions and keep moving forward,” she continues. “Because of my strong conviction in that vision, I have way more faith than fear, so that fear doesn’t trip me up very often.”

Lisa Rehurek

Understand what keeps you motivated

Financial gains? A killer title? The ability to move mountains — or numbers. Praise from your manager? Time with your kids? Rehurek says to remain ambitious, you must know what motivates you to keep going when the going gets tough.

“I know that I am motivated by recognition. If I’m not getting recognized, then I need to shift something to get more recognition in order to stay motivated,” she shares as an example. “In 2018, I did a lot of things that gave me that recognition – developed an online learning institute, started a new podcast, wrote another book, participated in an online business reality show.”

As she goes into 2019, she doesn’t have as many “big” nuggets on the horizon, so she puts her nose to the grind to create opportunities to fulfill her.

Develop a do, ditch and delegate process

Especially as you rise through the ranks and become a manager, it’s more important than ever to use your time not only wisely but strategically. Even those who are inherently motivated can get bogged down in the details, making it difficult to see the path at the end of the weeds. Rehurek has developed a ‘do, ditch and delegate’ process to get the most out of her working hours. This keeps her pushing forward and allows for peak productivity.

How does it work? Simply: do the things you’re great at, ditch the ones you don’t need to contribute to or waste your genius and delegate tasks that are better suited for someone else, making room for you to work harder on your vision.

If You Have This Personality Trait, Chances Are You’re an Ideal Travel Companion

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By Andrea Romano

Curious about what makes someone great to travel with? Turns out, you might already have what it takes.

new survey from Curio Collection by Hilton found that curiosity is the most desired trait that travelers look for in their companions.

Sixty-four percent of survey respondents described the perfect travel companion as someone who is curious. In addition, 65 percent consider a spouse or significant other as the best travel partner for new experiences, while 25 percent would prefer to travel alone.

Respondents to the study also shared how curiosity motivates the way they travel. About 91 percent of respondents described themselves as curious, and 60 percent of people said they believe they are more curious than the average person. At the same time, 53 percent said they want to be more open to new experiences. Curiouser and curiouser.

WATCH: These Are the U.S. Airlines Least Likely to Lose or Damage Your Bags

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Having your luggage get lost or damaged during a trip can make for a stressful vacation.

The study also measured how many travelers prioritize exploration on their trips, with 55 percent of respondents saying they primarily want to explore, rather than relax, on vacation.

Fifty-seven percent of travelers wish they could spend more time exploring the things that pique their curiosity, including “visiting ancient ruins, eating dinner at a well-regarded restaurant, or experiencing a safari.”