Gratitude. Such a natural, almost automatic feeling -- and one that is so easily taken for granted. Virtually every one of us has a sense of gratitude; the simple act of saying 'thank you' after someone assists you is an expression of it. But if the gratitude we experience is largely automatic -- even if it's entirely genuine -- are we really experiencing it wholly and completely?
Like almost any other skill or ability we have, if we do not actively engage with it, it never realizes its full potential -- and gratitude is no different. As I mentioned previously, even if gratitude comes to us in a more 'automatic' sense, it does not mean that it isn't genuine. Rather, what it means is that we are not being mindful of gratitude's full potential.
So easily we find ourselves slipping into a negative mindset, with fear, anxiety, and doubt clouding our thoughts. For those who practice mindfulness where gratitude is concerned, these sometimes crippling mental states are drastically reduced. This is all well and good, but you may be asking, "What does it mean to be mindful when talking about gratitude?" What I mean is to make gratitude the focus of your attention, and not let it be an automatic, if genuine, reaction.
There are so many different ways to focus on gratitude (journalling, meditation, etc.), and enhance it like any other skill we possess. Building awareness and mindfulness surrounding gratitude quite literally changes the way we think. We experience life and all it has to offer through a much different lens when we take an active role in our own gratitude. It becomes a stable base -- a building block, if you will -- from which we can broaden and expand positivity, growth, and contribution in our own lives. We focus less on empty consumption because we become more aware of how grateful we are for what we already have. We become open to possibility and change, because we are ready to grow, and excited for how experiences will contribute to us, and we to them.
If focusing on just one concept can so drastically and positively affect how I live my life, then sign me up as someone who is grateful for gratitude.
** View the video for this post HERE **