The Courage to be Grateful
November 26, 2019
The practice of gratitude is very different from the attitude of gratitude.
In this episode, we talk about how gratitude can transform lives if we actually practice it. When we practice gratitude we “do something” to be grateful.
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
-William Arthur Ward.
That’s essentially the difference between an attitude of gratitude and the practice of gratitude. If you don’t do anything with gratitude, it’s a nice thought, but it doesn’t go anywhere, let alone change anyone’s life.
Joy and Gratitude
One of the reasons we have a hard time practicing gratitude is the feeling of joy comes with vulnerability. When we’re not willing to rumble with vulnerability, we have a hard time experiencing joy. Sometimes, we even go as far as forboding joy – dress rehearsing all the things that can go wrong the second something goes right and you’re feeling thankful.
Now, if you’re thinking, “What type of human being does that?” We all do. Again, because joy is one of the most vulnerable emotions we can ever experience, sometimes it is hard for us to embrace it, experience it, and share it.
ROI of Practicing Gratitude
But, here’s the thing: the very practice of gratitude has been proven to improve our happiness. Researchers asked people to write down three things they were grateful for every day for one week. The result was an increase in their happiness for one month.
Talk about an amazing return on investment! When that same study was extended to six months, researchers could not find the end to happiness. So the practice of gratitude truly is life-changing.
Here’s the question: how will you practice gratitude? We offer several suggestions for you to do alone or with your family. One we didn’t mention was this: What if starting next week, you wrote down on a small slip of paper the specific things you were grateful for each day and simply dropped them into a jar? Next year at thanksgiving, unfold the pieces of paper you dropped in the jar and read them again. Imagine the thanksgiving you might have with your family and friends if you did.
We’re wishing you and the people you love a very happy Thanksgiving & look forward to hearing how you’re practicing gratitude.
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