Gratitude Changes Everything
Gratitude has been called “The mother of all virtues”. Gratitude Changes you and your brain. The practice of gratitude seems to encourage the development of other virtues such as patience, humility and wisdom. Throughout history and around the world, religious leaders and philosophers have extolled the virtue of gratitude. Some have even described gratitude as “social glue” that fortifies relationships between friends, families and romantic partners and serves as the backbone of human society.
What exactly is gratitude? Where does it come from? Why are some people naturally more grateful than others? Are there ways we can foster more feelings and expressions of gratitude? Scientists now understand better the biological roots of gratitude, the various benefits that accompany gratitude, and the ways that people can cultivate feelings of gratitude in their day-to-day lives. Gratitude works to improve our mental health. Our teaching can help people achieve great benefits in shorter time frames than other approaches. Recent evidence suggests that people who consciously, remind themselves of their blessings tend to be much happier. Gratitude expands consciousness and open up doors. It creates avenues in mind where the Universe can respond.
There is a process or intervention used. It is called Reframing. Challenge yourself to get good at it, that is changing the lesser ideas you usually hold for the greater. Reframing is an important and helpful tool for us to learn, to change the way we think, feel, and behave and bring forth gratitude. For example, a teenager is upset she didn’t make the girls soccer team. She could reframe it by asking herself, “What positive things could come from this” or simply saying to herself, “Good will open up as a result of this!”. My old example with my dad when I was in business and calling him with my daily problems each morning, he would always start with, “Good morning Greg, what exciting challenges do you have today?”. The kids today would ask are you a lover or a hater? So, which is it? Where are you coming from? That will to a large extent determine where you are going. And what’s your vibe? My generation asked me, “are you a lifter or a leaner?” So, whatever is going on within, it is only a thought and a thought can be changed. Let’s be resolved in all things to ask quietly, deeply “what is the good in this?”. Let’s be more resolved to find it. Build on what is good there. You live, move and have your being in it. It is a fact. It responds to you. Build on the good there. Knowing you are one with it! Love is all around and so is goodness.
Expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better. There are huge mental health benefits that come from gratitude. How to get there, to this state of mind. As in any “work out”, we must set a goal. If you tend to complain a lot. Learn to challenge yourself to try another way and be determined to know there is always something to be grateful for. Start today with just one thing. Start with the smallest of things.
“I am grateful for my cat, my dog, my view, my pleasant disposition”
Make a list and let it grow. Refer to it often, each morning when you start your day and review it before sleep, you will sleep better, and your dreams will change too. You are beginning to transform with this simple life changing process. The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies in their connection with source, life, nature and others. Gratitude helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals. In Psychology, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past, retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings. We can apply it to the present, not taking good fortune for granted as it comes. We are grateful for the future by maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude. Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone’s gratitude, let’s level up with gratitude. It may feel silly or contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice. No matter where you are on a scale of gratitude, it is something we can increase or take up a level. It’s a superpower we can successfully cultivate further.