Gratitude: a year-round attitude!:) One does not need a “specific” day or “time” to limit their expressions of appreciation and thanks! Gratitude is a way of life that brings benefits to: day-long, month-long, year-long, life-long living and giving!:)
Professor Robert Emmons, of the University of California at Davis, says: “Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress, and to achieve a positive sense of self.”
Time magazine highlights something else: “People who describe themselves as feeling grateful . . . tend to have higher vitality and more optimism, suffer less stress, and experience fewer episodes of clinical depression than the population as a whole.”
Everyday one can find many reasons to give “THANKS!” Personally, for me, I’m choosing not to let certain traditions, national pressure (and/or) peer/family pressure dictate what I eat and when or when I give and what or when I say Thanks and why.
How would you measure your depth of Gratitude? Check this out from: Professor Robert Emmons & Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami:
“Much of our initial work on gratitude has been devoted to examining the disposition to experience gratitude as a relatively stable affective trait. To measure this affective trait, we have developed a short scale called the Gratitude Questionnaire, whose current incarnation consists of six short self-report items. The GQ-6 is available here for download in PDF format. This document includes some interpretative material that allows one to determine where a person’s score on the GQ-6 falls relative to a large sample of adults who recently completed the measure. Finally, this short technical document describes the psychometric properties of the scale, including some of the most important evidence for its reliability and validity.”
Appreciation and gratitude must be cultivated and grown. As a parent, i strive to set a “Gratitude Attitude” example for my kids. THANKS to all my Readers for your time and patience (support) with my writing (if you wanna call it that;) or attempts at written heart (inner person) growth expressions.
A Sweet Friend of mine sent me an e-mail with this excerpt (brought me a smile) hope it does the same for You:)
I am Thankful:
“for the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes because it means she is at home, not on the streets.”
“for the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.”
“for the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.”
“for the lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.”
“for the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking and I have been blessed with transportation.”
“for the pile of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.”
“for weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been capable of working hard.”
I would add: I’m Thankful for: my very active, noisy/goofy, messy kids because it means they are healthy, happy and creative.
I’m sure you have many things for which to be THANKFUL Every Day!:) Have you thought about keeping a Gratitude Journal? Write each day or each week, each month…review and reflection can help one grow beautiful flowers of gratitude!:)
I’m personally working on changing my attitude about so-called “negative” (pain/suffering) stuff and viewing it as a positive/learning opportunity–a reason for gratitude! We do learn a lot from the things we may suffer. Wisdom is gained from suffering. Grievous things teach us valuable things we may need to know and may not learn any other way i.e. endurance, patience, long-suffering, time perspective and management because pain and pleasure is just “temporary”!
Pain can serve as a protection. (Protection is a universal need for every breathing/fragile thing on our fragile planet!) Dare i say, I’m Thankful for my pain!…but, i’m content… really don’t want anymore; Thanks!:)
- Prosociality: People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated as more generous and more helpful by people in their social networks (McCullough, Emmons, & Tsang, 2002).
- Materialism: Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods; they are less likely to judge their own and others success in terms of possessions accumulated; they are less envious of others; and are more likely to share their possessions with others relative to less grateful persons.
I know you’re grateful!:) Your Gratitude Attitude can be infectious…so share the THANKS!:) Generosity and hospitality should be practiced regularly. (Fragile life would be preserved and protected with more generosity and hospitality!) Remember, you are not limited to just 1 day of the year to express your appreciation for your many BLESSINGS!:)
Here’s some Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal from Jason Marsh:
- Go for depth over breadth. Elaborating in detail about a particular thing for which you’re grateful carries more benefits than a superficial list of many things.
- Get personal. Focusing on people to whom you are grateful has more of an impact than focusing on things for which you are grateful.
- Try subtraction, not just addition. One effective way of stimulating gratitude is to reflect on what your life would be like without certain blessings, rather than just tallying up all those good things.
Really like this common sense/”practical” Biblical verse:
“For we have brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out. So, having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.” (1Tim. 6:7,8)
We are Thankful for lots, but let’s be thankful for less…:) (in other words, when we have less “material” things we may have more for which to be Thankful!:)
photo credit: woodleywonderworks photo credit 1: KateWares