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Today's post is taken right out of my new book, "The Top 25 Things You Can Do To Change Your Life For the Better...Forever", published by GSimms.com.

This post is actually one of the chapters and is entitled "Be Grateful or Show Gratitude".

Do enjoy!!!

Webster's unabridged dictionary defines gratitude as the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.

As a result of the many recent published works on the natural laws of the universe ("The Secret" being the most popular among those works), more attention is now being given to qualities that had previously been discounted or judged as antiquated.

The qualities of humility, thankfulness and gratitude have a way of balancing you in a world that too easily will disparage those who demonstrate them by attaching to them such labels as being weak, fragile or lacking toughness.

Truth is, the universe is a place that functions by rules that most of us would rather usurp.  Since we are not by any standard equal to the universe, it is a better bet to exist in its harmony rather than oppose it.

So, count your blessings and acknowledge your very existence with gratitude. Take time (sometime during the day or evening) to do some deep breathing and reflect on those things that are good in your life (even those things that you take for granted like your health...the fact that you can see...that you're able to smell...that you're able to walk, etc.).  Express being grateful for all of the wonderful things in your life--especially for the people who bring you joy and inspiration.

Think about this for a minute.  Those of you who are parents know the sense of well being felt when your children show gratitude for those things that you've done for them.  Your natural reaction is to do more for your children and provide that feeling for them more frequently.  Now, while your expressions of gratitude should not be done with self-centered expectation, the universe has a way of granting gifts to those who are grateful for what it has already given them.

Living with gratitude opens your heart and makes life much more enjoyable.  When you're ungrateful and resentful, you will be more stressed and pump out cortisol more often than normal.

Cortisol makes you fat, age prematurely and is associated with practically every disease known to man.  On the other hand, gratitude opens your heart, frees your mind and is the platform for great health and wellness.

Pick up a copy of my book, "The Top 25 Things You Can Do To Change Your Life For the Better...Forever" today.  It's only $11 and available at www.GSimms-TheTop25.com.