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Power of Gratitude

Power of Gratitude
Pray

“We thank you for our daily bread” – People all over the world of varied religions thank the Lord on a daily basis in their prayers and actions. We teach our children to say thank you as soon as the little angles can talk. But do we understand what these two words really mean. Saying thank you and feeling gratitude may not be the same thing.

In today’s hectic and competitive world, there is so much negativity floating around that it is easy to get taken in by it. Pessimistic attitudes lead to chronic depressions and a negative mind is actually a magnet for ailments and sadness. We often complain about what we do not have and take for granted what has been provided to us.

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All of us at some time or the other have felt let down, held on to a grudge or simply hated someone’s guts. Most of us feel that life has not been fair to us at some point or the other. Comparisons with those who we feel are doing better than us are inevitable and make us feel like we got the raw end of the deal.


“I was sorry that I did not have shoes till I saw a man with no feet”. This oft mentioned saying needs to be given some thought before we start to moan in self pity about what we do not have. So pick up the threads of your life and start feeling grateful for the things that you do have as opposed to moaning about what you do not have.

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The power of gratitude works on the brain. It helps release the negativity in our mind. All functions and feelings of our body are controlled by the brain. When we express gratitude for things our brain feels positive.

As we start to walk up this road, our spirits rise and we are filled with positive feelings that make us happy and content. Gratitude can actually help you combat diseases too. Most physiological diseases have their roots in unhappiness and depression. The body is more susceptible to ailments when one is feeling low and depressed. When we feel thankful for all that we have our self esteem rises. This in turn provides the body with strength to fight against ailments. A body that is fighting germs as well as depression and low self moral is like a country that is facing civil war as well as external attacks at the same time. Needless to say the defense gets divided. If the mind is calm the body can divert all its resources towards external attacks.

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But simply saying ‘thank you’ is not the answer. One must learn to feel gratitude deep inside. It is necessary to feel privileged and lucky to have the things that we are feeling thankful for.

Simply put the power of gratitude is the answer to most of our problems today. So the next time you are feeling low simply count your blessing, one by one.

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Vishal P. Rao runs the Stress Management Forum, a place to discuss strategies and techniques to manage stress in daily life.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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