Attitude of Gratitude Series - What is Gratitude?
When you think about the word “gratitude” what does it mean to you? We believe that it is all about being thankful for what you have, counting your blessings, being really appreciative of anything that you receive and really valuing simple things in your life that are really important.
Each morning when you awake, be grateful that you have another day of life. One of the best ways to understand gratitude is to think of everything as a miracle – the fact that you are alive, that you have a roof over your head, there is food and water available to you and so on.
The real art of being grateful is to develop an awareness on a continual basis about what you have no matter how small. Most people tend to concentrate on the things that they don’t have. The Law of Attraction will keep providing them with lack if they persist with this.
When you express gratitude on a regular basis you make a transition from always focusing on lack to focusing in the abundance that you have right now. There are health benefits to adopting an attitude of gratitude as well. Many studies have shown that being grateful makes people happier and more resilient to the challenges of life.
The Simple Act of saying “Thanks”
Most of us are taught to say “thanks” when we receive something from others. It tends to be an automatic reaction. But the giving of thanks can have a significant impact on the person receiving as well as for the giver of the thanks.
The impact is even more intense if there is strong emotion linked to the giving of thanks. If the receiver sees that you really are appreciative for what they have done for you then they will get a warm feeling inside when they get a sincere thanks from you.
Gratitude goes back a long way
The Roman philosopher, Cicero, discussed the subject of gratitude over two thousand years ago. He saw the value in it and described it as opening doors and keeping people young. Cicero saw gratitude as a true virtue.
But we believe that gratitude is a lot more than a virtue. It is something that people feel from deeply within and a strong emotion. When we are grateful to others we feel this inside and we also experience a positive emotion when we receive sincere gratitude.
When you adopt an attitude of gratitude and harness the power of this emotion and inner feeling then it is going to help you to make really strong connections. Unfortunately in modern times gratitude is not as prevalent as it once was and we want it to make a massive comeback.
A Sense of Belonging
We are a gregarious species and when we express gratitude we are really strengthening our sense of belonging in the human race. Be grateful will provide you with a total sense of wellbeing. Here is a little exercise for you:
Close your eyes and think about a time when you felt really appreciated. Make this feeling strong and really live it. Note the words that you hear.
What feelings are you experiencing?
What really appreciated these feelings?
What did you think at the time?
Did this make you joyful – if so why?
Write down your answers to all of these questions. You can reflect on them at a later time.
No Single Gratitude Definition
We do not believe that there is a single definition of gratitude. You will see definitions for gratitude that center around emotions, traits, attitudes, habits and even morals. Gratitude is complex and it is dynamic.
We believe that gratitude is actually a skill. When you cultivate the skill of gratitude your life will dramatically transform for the better. It will help you to get more of the things that you want and strengthen your relationships.
The Gratitude Emotion
You may read that gratitude has a strong connection to moods. We think that it is more about emotion. Emotion is a definite personal experience or circumstance. A mood can be influenced by a number of different things and doesn’t usually come from within.
When you think about gratitude you usually express it in response to an action that occurs in a relationship situation with someone else. Another person has given you something or you have given something to another person. When people express gratitude for receiving they are performing an exchange. This exchange strengthens the gratitude emotion.
Most emotions are powerful but gratitude is really powerful. When an exchange occurs the receiver of the gratitude needs to put themselves in the shoes of the giver to really experience the emotion. When you place yourself in the giver’s shoes enables you to feel the intention of the giver.
It is very important that the receiver really feels the sincere intention of the giver so that they can stir the emotion of gratitude and respond accordingly. So it truly is an emotional exchange that is very powerful.
There are many reasons to be Grateful
Gratitude is not just about an exchange between a giver and a receiver. It isn’t limited to the giving and receiving of material things either. If you receive good advice from someone else then you should certainly be grateful for this for example.
You can express gratitude on your own. Good health, the food that you have to eat, the people that you have in your life, the job that you work at that provides the money that you need – these are all things that you should be grateful for.
There are so many things that you have in your life right now that you can and should be grateful for. Most people will be grateful for what they receive from others, but they do little, if anything to express gratitude for what they have in their life at this moment.