In each moment, I bring in the awareness of choice. And in each moment, choosing to be aware of such freedom, I often choose to focus on having an attitude of gratitude. Why gratitude? Well let’s take some time and flesh that out. First, let’s understand the meaning of the word and emotion called gratitude. Second, we will examine when, how and ways we can shift into an attitude of gratitude. Third, we will explore what it’s like to embrace an attitude of ungratefulness. And lastly, we will focus on why choosing to embrace an attitude of gratitude is so powerful. Let the journey begin.
Gratitude is the opportunity to embrace a deep quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. And being thankful is to be glad or happy that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists. Sounds like a great way to experience life.
When do I choose to embrace the opportunity to experience an attitude of gratitude? Well, that’s an easy one to answer for me; always and in all ways right now. There is an opportunity to focus on viewing life and feeling life with an attitude of gratitude in every moment. Each moment presents an opportunity to focus on how deeply blessed I am to be alive and to focus on abundance.
How do I allow myself to shift into an attitude of gratitude? I first begin by making a commitment to bring this concept of gratitude to the fore front of my consciousness. I like to write out a gratitude affirmation, and it goes like this:
“In this eternal moment of now, I choose to focus on and experience gratitude as a catalyst to experiencing more abundance and joy. There are so many reasons to be thankful in this moment and I commit to expressing this life with an attitude of gratitude.”
I choose to consciously link the breath with the feeling of gratitude. As I breathe in, I allow for such gratitude for this life affirming breath. I embrace a deep sense of gratitude for being alive. Next, as the sensation or emotion flows in and through my body, I focus on all the things I am grateful for in this moment. I focus on all my senses and the body temple I get to play out this life in. I look out into nature and I am filled with so much gratitude for the sun, the air, the birds, the insects, the bees, the plants, the trees, the animals and so much more. Next, I like to take advantage of as many opportunities to communicate how grateful I am with the people I am blessed to experience. It only takes a few moments for me to focus on the positive in any situation and to convey my appreciation. I enjoy the opportunity to express my gratitude with a reciprocal act of kindness, which is always performed from a pure sense of appreciation. Before every meal is a fantastic time to be grateful. And after a meal which is made for me is over, I like to reciprocate and show my gratitude by clearing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Basically, before, during and after an experience are great times to maintain an attitude of gratitude. Body gestures are great ways to communicate gratitude. For instance, a handshake, a bow, hands to your heart, a smile, sign language, a kiss and or a hug are all wonderful ways to communicate gratitude. Such gestures can go a long way. Letters or cards are another great way to communicate gratitude. There are so many wonderfully creative ways to show appreciation. You get the gist.
The opposite side of gratitude is to embrace an attitude of ungratefulness, a righteous entitlement, heedlessness, thanklessness and being unappreciative. For instance, when I choose to focus on what I don’t have or what I don’t want, I shift into a negative place. In such a negative place, being ungrateful and or unappreciative, I often experience a disharmony with the world around me. I usually experience a more argumentative, defensive posture. When I choose to be ungrateful, the people around me tend to respond to me negatively. The body usually experiences some challenges when I shift into a more ungrateful negative attitude. My blood pressure can raise, body becomes tense and I release more stress hormones.
Why choose to embrace an attitude of gratitude? In every moment, I have come to realize that I get to choose my emotional state of well-being, my attitude. And with that, I own one hundred percent responsibility for what I think, how I feel, what I say and how I act. While choosing to embrace an attitude of gratitude, life begins to illuminate opportunities to focus on all the love and abundance that abounds. From such a positive place my body is relaxed and calm. I release more feel-good chemicals like endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine within the body. As a result of such chemicals, I then experience a greater sense of clarity and connection to the world. I tend to make decisions that are in alignment with my greatest good and purpose when coming from a place of gratitude. All of the relationships, I am so grateful to experience, tend to thrive and are deeply fulfilling. I create amazing life experiences by embodying an attitude of gratitude. I can even choose to be grateful for the contrasting negative emotions while honoring the complexity of this human experience. And with that said, I am so grateful for the opportunity to convey this message. Thank you so much for spending a few minutes reading this article.
Author, Eric Faught