Accessing the Power of Gratitude

How many times do we say thank you without sincerely meaning it; often, only paying lip service to the words?

The more we concentrate on being grateful, the more we shall have in our lives to appreciate.  It’s like the game we played as a child on road trips to see how many green Volkswagen Beetles we spotted.  The mere fact that we focused on these cars, the more they appeared.  Why? Because our thoughts send brain waves, that attract a corresponding frequency.  The Law of Attraction in action.

Look for things you love and appreciate.  As you do, you will continue to think of thoughts that feel better. Never complain about anything.  Instead, look for the positive aspect of everything.  Focus on your favorite things.  No matter where you go, make a list of the things you love.  Soon you will notice you will regularly attract what makes you happy.

There will be times, though, when you just cannot seem to find anything for which to be grateful. During these times, it is best to remember that gratitude is a CHOICE.  Start by appreciating that you have eyes with which to see, strong legs on which to walk, and ears with which to hear laughter.  We choose how we wish to feel at any given moment.  As Alan Cohen said, gratitude is a muscle which the more you use, the stronger it grows.

Scientific studies show that the act of being grateful expands our happiness and well-being by contributing to greater success, welfare, and peak performance.

Despite acknowledging these benefits, we do not cultivate appreciation on a daily basis.  The focus is on what we do not want in our lives, on what is lacking, or broken.

For gratitude to be beneficial, we need to start appreciating and viewing things in a new light.  We need to count our blessings and view every obstacle as an opportunity to see its silver lining.  In the United States, we are reminded to give thanks but once a year on Thanksgiving Day.  While this is one of my favorite holidays—and a beautiful one at that—gratefulness needs to become a daily habit rather than an annual one.

Practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we appreciate all we have, rather than complain about what we lack, everything in our life is an opportunity and a blessing.

Curiously, we use gratitude and appreciation interchangeably.  Are they?  In essence, gratitude is an attitude while appreciation is an emotion.  Usually, when we say we are grateful for something, it is because we have overcome a hardship or something unpleasant in our lives.  For example, I’m grateful I’m not working there anymore or that I am no longer married to him or her.   But when we are appreciative, it is usually positive.  No one says I appreciate having come through that.  More than likely we say: I’m appreciative that I met him or her or of the life I am living.  Appreciation is seeing whatever you are focusing on with the eyes of Source.  It is who you are. However, when we appreciate the value of someone or something and combine it with genuine gratefulness, it is powerful.

If we practice looking for what is right in every situation, and make it a point to appreciate someone on a daily basis, we shall become the change we desire to see in the world.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

~ Melody Beattie

Practicing Appreciation:

  • Keep a gratitude journal.
  • Before you go to sleep, take inventory of all the things that happened throughout the day for which you need to be grateful.
  • Find the hidden blessing in a challenging situation. See the lesson.
  • Instead of complaining, compile a gratitude list. Your feelings will shift immediately.
  • Notice how your life has changed as a result of appreciation.

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