Seeking a Spirit of Gratefulness

» Posted by on Oct 18, 2011 in Appreciation, Heartfelt Words, Thankfulness | 4 comments

Seeking a Spirit of Gratefulness

Being grateful is not something that comes naturally for many of us. It is something that needs to be learned, practiced, and experienced (from both sides of the fence). Children, by nature, tend to be focused on self. Some may even say they can be selfish, especially if they have spent any amount of time with a two year old. EVERYTHING is “Mine, Mine, Mine!” LOL. So, how do we ever get from the “everything is mine” stage to showing gratefulness to others?

Well, it starts with our parents, for many of us. As they are teaching us to use manners, they will remind us to “Say Thank You.” As we get older, we may even have teachers that make us use manners, again reminding us to say thank you when we receive something. But as we get older, if we haven’t learned this lessons while young, it is a bit difficult to develop a spirit of gratefulness.

Before you can work on your skills in this area of your life, it is important to understand what gratefulness is. Thesarus.com explained the word “gratitude,” when used in context, means reflecting back on an event, while placing yourself in the shoes of another, and thinking about which emotions they might have experienced.

As you can see, gratefulness (gratitude) is more than just saying thank you. There is an amount of reflection and wonder that goes along with it. Everything that we have, all the people that we have the opportunity to connect with, our families, our pets, our homes — all of these and more — give us opportunities to experience gratefulness. However, sometimes we are too busy or distracted to appreciate them.

So, what can you do today, to practice and work toward sharing your gratitude with others?

1. Take some time each day – either morning or evening – and reflect on your day. To whom or what are your grateful for? You can just think about this in your mind, quietly. However some choose to journal about it or blog about it also.

2. Do something that allows you to relax. For some, this is doing arts & crafts. For others, this is taking a quiet walk in the morning. During these peaceful times, your mind has some time to relax as well. It is easier to think about what you have to be thankful for when your mind is at ease. It is extremely difficult to find things to be grateful for when your mind is in a constant state of stress.

3. When something stressful occurs, instead of taking the path of negativity, try something different instead. Think about the negative event and try to find ONE positive aspect about it. You never know… spilling your coffee on your outfit while running late and having to go back to change your clothes could have happened for a reason. What if those five to ten minutes may have allowed you to avoid an accident or missed a traffic jam. Venture down the path of positivity – even if it is a “What-If” and not an actual occurrence, find the positive in every event and go with it.

4. Thank others for the small things. If you drop something at the supermarket and a stranger picks it up for you, take the time to say “thank you” and try to mean it. The more you say thanks to others, the easier it will become for you. As the old saying goes, “Practice makes perfect!”

These are four important parts of beginning your journey towards experiencing a spirit of greater gratefulness in your life. Four little steps that can change your life. Imagine removing some of the stress from your life, focusing on the positive, and making a difference in the lives of others when you show your gratefulness to them. You can almost feel a burden being lifted from your shoulders when you take these steps.

4 Comments

  1. Great artticle Jodi on ‘Gratefullness” ! Thank you for sharing! …Hughie

  2. This makes all the difference… how I feel is how I AM 🙂
    Great article Jodi…

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  4. Thank you so much Christina!

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