Growing Gratitude: A Valuable Life Skill
What would life look like if we experienced more gratitude? Imagine your satisfaction when someone expresses gratitude for your efforts; or your contentment when feeling happy about life, right in this moment. We can all have more of that because growing gratitude is a valuable life skill we can learn!
The simple attitude of gratitude is one of the most powerful creative energies we can work with. It transforms our consciousness because energy flows to whatever we focus on, and makes it grow.
Gratitude also increases happiness. When we express genuine appreciation for the goodness we already enjoy each day, we cultivate happiness in our lives.
Perhaps you have not yet lost the twenty pounds you want to, but you have learned to make better food choices. Or you have not yet found the love of your life, but you have been blessed with loving relatives and friends.
It’s a simple yet powerful principle: You can develop more of what you desire in life by noticing what you DO have already and growing an attitude of gratitude for that. You have the power to create more of what you love by expressing genuine appreciation for the good things you already have.
Expressing gratitude is a learned skill. It is done not in a superficial or schmaltzy way, but through genuinely heartfelt, eyeball-to-eyeball or heart-to-heart connection. It involves appreciation delivered with real meaning rather than some perfunctory mumblings or syrupy platitudes.
Just think of all the meaningful things that you have already enjoyed today: the smell of coffee that got you going, a warm shower, soft towels, a selection of clean clothes in your closet, sunshine warming your face, tantalizing aromas all around, the ability to walk and talk… there’s so much to be grateful for!
Once the habit of growing and showing attitude takes hold, you’ll start noticing more and more of life’s blessings around you. Gratitude expands our hearts to notice more of what we already have appreciation for.
Imagine how relationships would be enhanced if you used the same approach to express appreciation for the people in your life!
Take a few moments to consider the relationships you’re grateful for. Reflect on the qualities you appreciate in each of your relatives and friends: the smile on a child’s face, the hug of a loved one, the spontaneous playfulness of a friend… and even their individual ways of craziness! We can find something to be grateful for in every person or situation.
I had an eccentric great-aunt who had the knack for making keen observations about others at the most inappropriate times. I used to blush in embarrassment at her unflinching directness, yet when she was no longer able to attend family gatherings, her special brand of candor was sorely missed. Only then did I realize how her unique brand of eccentricity enriched our lives.
Perhaps there are a few people with varying degrees of eccentricity populating your life as well. They also have a role to fulfill — even if it is to stretch your tolerance level, teach patience or give you an opportunity to forgive! And yes, they offer you an opportunity to grow more gratitude.
Expressing gratitude is a priceless gift we can offer ourselves and others. Now is a perfect time to express your gratitude to people who have touched your life. Let them know what you love about them and how it makes you feel. You’ll add meaning to their lives while strengthening your relationships.
Growing gratitude is indeed a valuable life skill we can learn to enhance our quality of life.