Gratitude Gives You Latitude

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Sunrise Run (Image: Shawn Ward)

What are you thankful for? Have you really taken a breath to just pause and take it all in? Or, are you just pushing through hitting each day moving through it like it’s a drive through. Again and again expecting your happiness to be handed to you from a carry out window attendee. Chances are we don’t tailor our days spent, we face a mountain of mental and physical anguish with little regard to what’s great. We can move so fast through our days and weeks, we miss out on all that is either accomplished or what we should be more thankful of.

The actual definition of gratitude needs to be examined:

The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness. An indebtedness and appreciation.

I don’t think you’re or my definition of gratitude falls in the above frame of reference. We often look at the act of being grateful in terms of repayment for something we did. Like it’s owed to us. So we wait, and do a ton work, all the time getting more disappointed when it’s not delivered. Reread the definition above, gratitude comes from a awareness of being thankful. In other words, you have to be ready for it by being present and looking for it versus waiting for it to happen.

This is something we have to let go of to really get a sense of gratitude and be happier. Happiness is a state of being, not a pile of stuff. Proper practicing of gratitude can help us get closer to the feeling of happiness we like to live in.

Here’s the great part, no matter where you are in your life or state, you can bring a sense of gratitude to your life. You can always find some reason to be grateful. I take 5 minutes everyday to reflect on what I am grateful for. I take 2.5 minutes in the morning to start my day and 2.5 minutes before I go to bed to be in the space of gratefulness. I spend this time thinking and writing down what I am grateful for. I may wake up anxious for work in the morning, however, I can be grateful that I showed up and didn’t call in sick.

Just acknowledging your good fortune, small or big, has several benefits:

  • You will sleep better and enjoy your closer relationships much more.
  • Researchers have found that a person’s level of gratitude is inversely proportional to their level of depressed feelings or sadness. In other words, there is just as much to be grateful as there is to be depressed about. If your super sad, you can be super grateful and flip the switch.
  • The more grateful you are in life, the better the chances are that you will actually enjoy what you have. No more clutter and no more just filling your life with stuff.

We’ve discovered together if we’re waiting for our world to make us happy, we’re in for a disappointing life. When we choose to engage the world around us to be happier, gratitude is a great skill to get you closer to a less stressful life, longer life, and protect yourself from many forms of chronic illnesses.

Here’s some simple challenges we can start with together this weekend:

Meet the world with a positive attitude starting with being grateful for what’s around you.

Smile at and befriend others, be grateful for relationships you do have.

Cut yourself and others around you a little slack, help them be grateful.

Be consciously grateful for all you do have rather than worrying about why you’re not and that your owed the feeling of gratitude. 

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! I’m grateful for mine and this opportunity to start positively with you as my viewers.

Shawn

 

2 thoughts on “Gratitude Gives You Latitude

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