Gratitude,thankfulness,gratefulness or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one received or will receive… (WIKIPEDIA)
To take the the meaning further,in acknowledgment of a benefit not only received but also given out.
I started keeping a gratitude journal in 2015,I was at a mastermind coaching program for 2 months and we were ask to start journaling stuffs we are grateful for. Since then the journal has been an integral part of my everyday life,the results has been and still is overwhelmingly benefitial.
At one time my husband and I had a disagreement,i was really hurt and perturbed by, and been a strongheaded person that I am, I was not going to take it light with him. As the feeling of hurt was taking the best part of me that day,I didn’t want that, because the word of God says,’don’t let the sun go down on your anger’. but I was really angry!
I took my gratitude journal and started writing those things about my husband that I am thankful for, I kept on writing,until I forgot my anger. The feeling of hurt was eroded by the feeling of gratitude I felt for having such a wonderful husband,who ofen gets on my nerves, I believe he would say same about me too. 😀
People who practice gratitudee consistently report a host of benefits, If in doubt,check out King David the psalmist, You’ll agree with me that half of the book of Psalms have ‘gratitude’ themes. The benefits of a life and practice of gratitude encompasses all spheres of life.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits;
*It help build stronger immune system-Your body is not susceptible to disease easily
*You are not always bothered by aches,or pain.I usually experience pains and headaches at times, but its not as it used to be,unlike.
*You are better at taking care of your health, because you are thankful for your physical wellbeing.
*Happiness-gratitude induces happiness.
*Higher level of positive emotion is guaranteed.
*More forgiving-You don’t allow hurt to take the best of you, even though you’re feeling hurt,you learn to forgive.
*Less isolated or lonely
*Generous,and compassinate with words and in deeds.
Of course there are many other benefits I know you can think of that are not here. You can share some of yours as well.
Gratitude is a relationship strengthening emotion, among couples,parents to children,friends,families colleagues and all others. I remember everytime I commute from one place to another, I am always saying thank you to the cab drivers,even after I have paid for the services rendered. This as become a lifestyle of saying’thank you’ to anyone who does something for me, or vi-a-vis.
The two sides of a coin:
There are two sides to gratitude as a virtue:
*The affirmation of goodness: It doesn’t mean that life is perfect,and everything is all rosy and all that. A life of gratitude does not ignore burdens,hassles, complaints or struggles,but it helps to see and identify the goodness embedded in those those struggles,or burdens we face and bear.
In all things..Give thanks.
*Where does gratitude stem from? This helps us to recognise the source the source of the goodness we enjoy as being outside of ourselves. If you are spiritually minded like me, you will agree with me that everything we enjoy big or small that helps to achieve the goodness in our lives comes from God. Rom 8;32 says,
He who did not spare his own Son,but gave him up for us all-how will He not also along with Him,graciously give us all things.
Also its important to also acknowledge we enjoy goodness from other people around us as well.
WHAT DOES GRATITUDE DO FOR US?
- It helps celebrate the present, to savorthe moment.
- It blocks toxic ,negative emotions- you cannot feel envious and grateful at the same time.
- It helps us to more resistant to stress.
- It helps to have a higher sense of worth. I mean I look at myself in the mirror and see the graciousness of God in my life, it helps me to know that I am here for a purpose and that there is more to me, That I am not an afterthought.
Challenges of a lifestyle of Gratitude.
Did you say challenges??? Yes just because gratitude is good does not mean it is easy!
Gratitude,goes against our self-serving bias. Meaning when good things happen to us we say its because of something we did,that’s why we are enjoying the goodness of life.But when bad things or seemingly unpleasant things happen to us we are quick to blame situations,circumstances and people.
The second challenge of Gratitude, it goes against our need to feel in control of our environment, it gives us that sense of accepting Life as it is, and be grateful for what we have.
Cultivating the attitude of Gratitude.
We can all cultivate the attitude of gratitude by
*keeping a gratitude Journal- You can write out at least 5 things you are thankful for on a daily basis.
*Count your blessings name them one by one-
*Go outside of yourself to help others in need , is one important aspect of gratitude that helps one to have the right perspectives to the blessing that others don’t have
In overcoming any problem, it begins with a thankful heart- Don Moen.
Image Credit: Google.