Scientific evidence has shown that people who practice an attitude of gratitude are considerably more enthusiastic, interested, and determined. These people also feel 25% happier; and are more likely to be both kind and helpful to others. It is that time of year when we begin gearing up to be more thankful. However, research shows that we should try and live everyday more thankful, as there are truly several benefits to this attitude. But we all know that life does not always go the way we would like and Jesus Himself told us in John 16:33 that, “In this world you will have trouble.” We must always remember though that even in the most difficult days we still have things in our lives that we can be grateful for. Let’s now look at a few ways to do this:
We begin by looking gratefully at what is happening to us, or pause to take in the gestures we are receiving from others. When someone shows kindness, or offers something to you, truly take a moment and relish the true gift that this is, no matter how small. We need to be acutely aware of how this makes us feel; do we tear up, get overwhelmed with a sense of pride or happiness. Focus on how this makes you feel and enjoy that feeling.
Then we should begin to give thanks for everything we have in life, no matter how simple or insignificant it may seem. It is sometimes the least obvious or smallest things that really get us back on track to living a thankful life. By focusing on the smallest of things we are thankful for it really allows us to see all that we have and can be thankful for.
Sometimes it takes us looking back at our past to see where we are presently. Look at the times in your past when you knew you were truly thankful and focus on those memories. It is during these times of reflection that we can see the triumphs we have had and the obstacles that we have overcame.
Often, we must look at each situation from all angles to truly discover what we can be thankful for, even if we are only able to view it as a learning experience. We also must remember that God knows the plans that he has for you and these are to prosper you, and not to harm you. We must train ourselves to look for the positives in every situation and if we can do this we will find ourselves being so much more thankful.
“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant,
to enact gratitude is generous and noble,
but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.”
~ Johannes A. Gaertner ~
May God Light Every Path You Travel,
Pastor Jason Phillips