What if I told you that you could have better relationships, better health, sleep more, feel more satisfied about your life and protect yourself from depression and anxiety.
Would you be interested? Most people would say of course. But what is it?
It is the attitude of gratitude!!!
Robert Emmons, Ph.D., a leading expert on gratitude, describes gratitude in two parts. Firstly, he says gratitude is an affirmation that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. Secondly, it’s the recognition that the sources of this goodness are, at least partially, outside ourselves. This outside sources can be a higher power, the natural world or from social connections with others.
If developing an attitude of gratitude is so beneficial, then why is it a struggle. Many of us practice gratitude killing habits. Check out the list.
Habit 1 - Self focused lifestyle. When the focus of our life becomes personal happiness, we never have enough.
Habit 2 - Entitlement. This habit embraces the idea that if I am smart and work hard then I get everything good that I have.
Habit 3 - Non-specific thanks. You have learned to say thank you. However if it is general or obligatory it is a false gratitude.
Habit 4 - Spiritual dryness. Gratitude is a key indicator of healthy spirituality. Failure to cultivate healthy spirituality will result in failing to show thankfulness.
How do you break these habits? Here is what I have found to be helpful.
Practice Intimacy with God - Daily practice of intentional Scripture Reading, Prayer and Quiet Contemplation.
Write down 3 - 5 things everyday that you are thankful for.
Share your list.
Here is my list for today.
1. I am thankful for the healing power of God in my life.
2. I am thankful for a warm cup of coffee.
3. I am thankful for people in our church community who want to know more about the Bible.
Developing an attitude of gratitude takes work. It take perseverance and patience, but if you address these habits you will be on your way to developing an lifestyle of thanksgiving that will last longer than the turkey leftovers from the weekend.