Giving the Gift of Gratitude
Gratitude – the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness; a strong feeling of appreciation to someone or something.
Gratitude is the one emotion I purposefully focus on each day. It allows me to acknowledge all the good in my life, to positively acknowledge what I have and what others have given me, be it advice, time, or pieces of themselves. It is for this reason that Thanksgiving is my most very favorite holiday. How can one not love a day that celebrates that which you are thankful for with food and no gifts!
If the world was perfect, I would advocate for changing Thanksgiving Day to Gratitude Day. Thankfulness and gratitude are similar in that they are words often used to express the benefits we receive in life.
Gratitude means you are grateful, and you can show it in many ways including helping someone without expecting the return of a favor or inviting someone to your home for a meal just because you don’t want them to be alone. Gratitude can be a way of life for someone.
On the other hand, thankfulness often means nothing more than saying the words, “Thank you.” Saying “thank you” is very good, however, it is most often said after you have received the benefit. Unfortunately, it is often a response given on auto pilot. Have you ever been distracted while being served only to wonder later if you remembered to say thank-you? It happens quite often.
When you develop a gratitude attitude, you are setting yourself up for success.
Gratitude is perhaps the most important key to finding success and happiness, especially in today’s tumultuous and chaotic word. Just knowing what we appreciate in life means knowing who we are, what matters to us, and what makes each day worthwhile. Paying attention to what we feel grateful for puts us in a positive frame of mind. It connects us to the world around us and to ourselves.
Regardless of the barriers, finding your way to gratitude is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Think about it, you can’t give gratitude to anyone but yourself. Challenge your inner critical voice. Act grateful and you will find that you are grateful. Try meditation and mindfulness as they allow you to be present with yourself and the life you have. Take the time to realize that bucket list designation, allow yourself to dream, and dream big while you are at it.
Do not only find your way to gratitude for yourself but do it for those you love. A person with gratitude is a happier person, a healthier person, and a person so much more fun to be around.
Equally as important, you will find yourself open and willing to express authentic gratitude. What better time than now to celebrate gratitude with family and friends? Let them know how much you appreciate them.
Tip: Developing the habit of gratitude takes work and commitment. I will admit current events infringe upon my gratitude attitude occasionally. As an antidote, I’ve adopted The Morning Sidekick Journal as a tool to keep me on focus. It allows me to make a fresh start each day.
Until next week!
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