**This is the seventh guest blog in a series of posts by the 2016 JuST Conference speakers. Check back each week for a new post highlighting critical topics in prevention, recovery and service provision with juvenile sex trafficking victims. Join us at our nationally-renowned training conference November 9 – 11, 2016. Visit this link to see the full agenda and lineup of speakers.
Copyrighted Content ã By Marti MacGibbon, CADC-II, ACRPS
Attitude is everything. Gratitude is the ultimate attitude adjustment. Since 2000, psychologists have conducted numerous studies on the effect and benefits of gratitude. Gratitude, it turns out, is a very powerful and often overlooked emotion. In the words of Cicero, the ancient Roman philosopher, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues but the parent of all others.” When we live in a state of gratefulness for all that we have, all that we are, and all that comes our way, we constantly receive more things to be grateful for. Gratitude is a powerful force, which instantly begins propelling us forward toward happiness, success and health. Once established as a force within us, gratitude naturally begins radiating out toward others.
Here are three simple methods you can use to quickly become grounded in gratefulness, and continue to increase and refresh your inner gratitude force throughout the day:
Make a mental gratitude list in the moment. This can also be done with pen and paper, but people don’t always have time to do a physical list during a busy day, so try it now, inwardly. Start by thinking the words, “Thank you,” and repeat as you visualize all the things you’re grateful for. For example, take a deep breath, and acknowledge gratitude for the air you’re breathing, the lung capacity you have, and the oxygen to your brain and bloodstream. Look around you, and experience gratitude for your eyesight, the view you’re taking in, and your brain’s power to process the image. While acknowledging your gratitude, allow yourself to luxuriate in the feeling of joy and peace that comes from living in the moment, knowing that the future holds promise for you.
Create a written gratitude list to read aloud to yourself daily. Start by saying the words, “Thank you,” aloud a few times — to prime the gratitude pump, so to speak. Begin by recording at least ten things for which you are grateful. Read the list at least once during your day. Take time to celebrate each entry with a feeling of exultation. Your list may contain items as simple as a good cup of coffee or as wondrous as a spectacular sunset. Feel the thrill and joy of gratitude that fills you each time you read and contemplate your list, and notice how you begin to be inspired to reciprocate by sharing with others.
Give of yourself and express your gratitude to others. This step is essential in completing the gratitude cycle. As you begin to acknowledge all that you have, all that you are, and all that comes your way, you come to recognize that everything in life, particularly that which is challenging, is a gift — a miracle. Consciously celebrate each miracle, and out of your resulting joy comes a desire to “pay it forward.” Every moment experienced in life holds millions of things to be grateful for. Start each day with a gratitude list and see for yourself. Gratitude carries profound results, and it can kick your attitude into positive gear — instantaneously. It works when we work it!
About the Author: Marti MacGibbon has recovered from and triumphed over human trafficking, adolescent sexual abuse/assault, homelessness, domestic violence, severe PTSD and hard-core drug addiction. Today, she is an internationally known humorous inspirational speaker and a nationally award-winning, bestselling author. The 2016 JuST Conference features an outstanding lineup of speakers on a variety of topics critical for all professionals working in the human trafficking field. Register today to hear more from Marti and many others at our event in November.