Attitude of Gratitude
There is a charming children’s song that goes something along the lines of “A thankful heart is a happy heart.” While seemingly just a little children’s ditty, this song really does hold truths that can be carried all throughout adulthood as well. Perhaps a more mature way of presenting this same concept is summed up in the saying, “Have an attitude of gratitude.” An attitude of gratitude will not only help an individual enjoy life and his/her possessions more fully, but it will also work to stifle out feelings of jealousy which can be detrimental to any healthy relationship.
Individuals who are grateful for the blessings in their lives often seem to attract more of those same blessings. For example, people who are grateful for the blessing of good friends in their lives are more likely to regularly attract more good people who can then become good friends as well. Like sowing seeds into the ground can reap a bountiful harvest in due season, sowing seeds of gratitude for certain situations or circumstances can also further increase the chance of those blessings continuing to grow.
Personally, I am extremely grateful for my own good health. While I might not be a model or body builder, I do have perfectly functioning organs, and I have learned to appreciate them. Because I feel gratitude towards my state of health, I am more likely to consciously strive to maintain or better my physical well-being. I make daily decisions about exercising and dieting—not because I don’t have what I want—but because I love and am thankful for what I do have.
Similarly, I find that when I am grateful for the little things in life that I have been blessed with—a kind family, a home, and food—I am less likely to spend my time feeling envious of someone else’s possessions. Finding satisfaction in my own blessings brings a sense of peace to my mind; no longer am I constantly trying to compare what I have with someone else, but I can finally relax and appreciate all that I do have, instead of focusing on the things that I may lack.
Sometimes, of course, it’s extremely difficult to express an attitude of gratitude for the difficult circumstances of life. Pain is not pleasant. However, when faced with these moments, I have found that a reflective attitude is the best way of moving towards gratitude. For example, as much as I hated having to spend late nights studying for college exams, I am now grateful for those moments; through them, I learned the importance of discipline, dedication, and perseverance.
As you enter these holiday seasons yourself, think carefully about all that you have in your life, both the good and the bad. While not everything might seem like a blessing immediately, learning to adapt an attitude of gratitude for the good can help change the difficult times to valuable experiences. Thankfulness can open up your eyes to enjoying all that you have, instead of whatever you lack, and this gratefulness that comes from contentment can bring you great peace of mind.