The only thing that most people don’t do very frequently discusses why gratitude is so vital. But others would argue that when having a better appreciation of gratitude, would be more thankful for practicing it on a day-to-day basis.
In my experience, I’ve found that the only way to really practice gratitude is by recognizing the difference between gratitude and thanks. When you are able to focus on both at the same time, you’ll find that it becomes easier to practice gratitude in all situations.
We need to be careful not to separate the two terms. The dictionary definition of grateful is “pleasing to the mind or senses; agreeable or welcome; refreshing:” The meaning of being grateful certainly ties into that definition, but grateful in and of itself is quite a bit different than appreciating things.
One should learn to observe the difference between appreciation and thankfulness. In gratitude, you acknowledge something that you have received. In thankfulness, you acknowledge something that someone has done for you. This difference helps to make the practice of mindfulness much easier.
Here’s an example…
If you work on writing a thank you letter to your boss, you might note the number of people who have given you their undivided attention in the course of your job. You might even express your gratitude to your boss in your thank you letter. But then what do you do when you realize that you should’ve said thank you more carefully?
Instead of automatically typing out a thank you letter that comes across as merely self-centered and self-indulgent, consider using the practice of mindfulness to really recognize and say thank you to those who are helping you out in your career.
Mindfulness means looking at the present. In saying thank you, it’s important to realize that your experience in life right now is exactly where you are. This is the exact place and time when you are feeling gratitude is the only response that will help you move forward. It’s an automatic reaction to feeling gratitude. That’s why it’s called “automatic response” – you just don’t “think” to say thank you.
The challenge with automatic response to say thankfulness to someone is that you might inadvertently come across as self-centered and self-indulgent. When you express your gratitude in that way, you might actually come across as insincere or shallow.
Instead, look at the present with a more holistic perspective and realize that your experience in life right now is precisely where you should be feeling gratitude. Look for the blessings in the experience and connect those with the gratitude you’re feeling. You’ll find that expressing thankfulness to the many people and things you’ve encountered along the way will give you more real and heartfelt gratefulness.
There are countless quotes about gratitude. Most of them deal with a situation that has happened to you or something you have done. The quotes don’t say how you should behave. They also don’t tell you what kind or form of behavior you should display in situations where you show your thankfulness.
A basic but important fact about living in today’s world is you must believe in yourself and let go of the need to be grateful to everyone and everything around you.
Simply connecting the feeling of thankfulness to the current moment – in this case, appreciating the many blessings you have had – makes the act itself a real form of gratitude. You’ll soon find that when you acknowledge the people or things that make you feel grateful, you will find it easier to do things for other people as well. It doesn’t take much effort at all.
In all cultures around the world, the practice of gratitude has always been important to humans. In fact, it is one of the cornerstones of society. It is the foundation upon which all other good things, including wealth and abundance, come. We live in a “humble” world where people are sometimes hesitant to extend help or favors to others because they are unsure if they will receive any help or favor in return. This is why gratitude is so important.
Thankfulness is the one trait in life that makes it easy to give. Think about it. Without gratitude, you would be living a very difficult life indeed. When you are grateful you are not selfish, you are not greedy, you are not a victim, you are instead an individual who knows what he or she wants and goes out to get it. Gratitude, in short, is the feeling of gratitude. The gratitude, thankfulness, and abundance all go hand in hand.
The best way to really make sure that you’re grateful for what you have right now is to really feel thankful for everything that you do. When we talk about gratitude we are talking about putting feelings into the universe around us. The universe has plenty of things to give you if you just look to it for your blessings, and the feeling of thankfulness can help you receive even more.
So, the next time you’re feeling a little stuck in life, take a few moments and really be thankful for all that you have. The universe will reward you with all kinds of things if you just ask for them.
This may come as a shock, but the fact of the matter is that most people don’t enjoy what they are doing – period! So, when you start appreciating yourself and others through thankfulness it will almost immediately show up in your actions. It will almost seem natural, almost without effort. We all have goals, and in my practice gratitude is one of the key elements to reaching those goals.
If you’re wondering how to go about feeling more grateful and appreciative you’ll find that this one simple strategy works well.
Each time you feel a little stuck in your day (which isn’t all that often) take five minutes and appreciate all that you have done and all that you could have done. Then put that feeling aside, and thankfulness would go with it. By doing this you’re activating the law of gratitude.
A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles and wonders. Gratefulness is the best means to produce much more pleasure right into our lives. When we share our gratefulness, we allow the Universe to recognize that we are open and prepared to obtain our true blessings. Allow the Universe to identify and prepare something extraordinary to take place in your life today.