With a bit of effort, we can cultivate a sense of gratitude, gratefulness, and thankfulness each and every day of our lives. Expressing, noticing, and feeling gratitude is not something to be stingy about or over analyze. When we keep it simple and an intentional practice, it is something which can naturally abound within us. And if gratitude abounds on our insides, it is sure to show up on our outsides.
The Profile of Gratitude
When grateful, our bodies can’t help but display an attitude of gratitude. Grateful people wear smiles, not frowns. Their bodies are open toward others as opposed to closed off. They bend their ears to listen, focus their eyes to see and anticipate the best possible outcome for any situation.
Gratitude is attractive and it attracts other people. Like bees on honey, people thrive around those who are thankful. When I consider the choice to spend time with someone who counts their blessings as opposed to spending time with someone who counts their burdens, I will choose the one who counts their blessings.
Though I have hopes that my gratitude will infiltrate and influence the lives of others, it is not always so. For instance, cynical and narcissistic individuals are sure to put a damper on our gratitude. Nothing short of an encounter with a miracle worker will cast out the hatred and conceit in some people. And since I am not in the business of working miracles, I limit my exposure to growlers and scowlers.
I also keep envy and comparison, two other gratitude robbers, at bay. When these two thieves rise up inside of me I know what squelches them—simple appreciation for who I am and what I have.
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is not complicated, expensive or impossible. Seeing the day through a lens of gratitude changes my view. It seems that when I begin to remember that I can be grateful, I find more and more to be grateful for.
Why bother letting gratitude have its way? Spending a day being grateful will fill the day with gratitude. And when gratitude has its way, we can’t help but feel the benefits.