Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has as opposed to what one wants. Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness. You don't have to be rich or well off to practice gratitude. In fact, the key word in that last sentence for many people is "practice." For most people in western civilizations, the struggle for daily survival does not even register as a thing that people think about.
If you have food, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are wealthier than 75% of the world. If you have money in the bank or your wallet you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you healthy you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week
For these things alone, you should say a little prayer of thanks to whatever higher power you believe in. You don't pray? Then send a positive thought of thanks out to the universe. Trust me...its listening. This is your first act of gratitude; acknowledging that you are one of the few who doesn't live in squalor wondering if you will wake up tomorrow.
Having a sense of gratitude is a mindset. It is a method of putting things into perspective or putting a positive spin on things. Some like to call it seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty. What's the difference? There's no difference in the amount of liquid in the glass; only how you view it.
The half full glass is symbolist if for the good things you have in life or the things you are grateful for. In this life, there are always going to be people that are more fortunate than you and less fortunate than you. But living a life that is fulfilling isn't all about fortune. It's about the journey that you are on. It's about the experiences that you have and it's about the people whose lives you make a difference in.
Everyone has the ability to be thankful for what they have. Sometimes it seems like life has dealt you one bad hand after another. That doesn't mean you still can't recognize and be grateful for the little things that you have in life. In fact, practicing gratitude for just the small things can have a powerful influence on your degree of happiness. Research shows that people that practice gratitude daily are........ and report greater levels of happiness and satisfaction than most people.
Here's a simple way that you can begin to practice and experience the power of gratitude. Write down three things that you are grateful for. You can use the following format and examples to get you started.
This morning I am grateful for:
Before you retire for the evening, do the same thing.
Tonight I am grateful for:
Record your morning and evening gratitude’s for the next 30 days. Practice self-awareness regarding you mental and emotional state as you do this exercise. You should notice a "lightness" and greater sense of wellbeing. This is the power of gratitude at work. Over time, you'll become more aware of the many gifts that you have to enjoy. It will not be a forced morning or nightly exercise but an awareness that is spontaneous. You may find that the habit of writing morning and evening gratitude statements provides a solid anchor and tool to carry you through the tough times and to celebrate the good ones!
Amplify Your Results!
Dr. Richard B. Greene, DBA
Peak Performance Coach & Human Potential Expert