Gratitude is simply a choice to focus on the positive aspects of our lives and be thankful.
What we focus on tends to expand. So every time we express gratitude for a blessing, however small it may be, we attract another and experience greater happiness.
Although we know intuitively that expressing gratitude makes us feel good, there is actually a great deal of research and scholarly writing about the positive correlation between gratitude and well-being. Check it out here, if you're interested.
In addition to attracting more blessings to ourselves, gratitude makes us more inclined to help others.
One of many beautiful examples of the pay-it-forward attitude is The Giving Pledge started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. We may not normally associate billionaires with generosity, but this group of more than 100 has promised to give the majority of their fortunes to charity.
Even if we don’t have Bill’s billions, we all have something to be grateful for and something to share with others.
Pause right now and consider this: do you ever have to worry about not having enough food or clothing? Do you ever lack shelter to keep you dry and warm? Are you not safe from danger, unless you go out of you way to pursue it? Are you not free to go where you want and do almost anything you can imagine?
All you have to do is read the news or go for a drive to see people who don’t have some or many of these “ordinary” blessings. In reality, there are legions of less fortunate people and you are probably a walking winning lottery ticket. Compared to what your life could be and what many people’s lives are, you’ve already hit the jackpot.
When we recognize that we have so much, even if it’s just the bare necessities and civil rights, it’s hard not to want to share something with those who aren’t as fortunate.
Simply put, gratitude benefits everyone, especially you.
Gratitude is so important to the pursuit of attaining total health and happiness that it forms the foundation of The PATH²’s mission statement; "If you have something wonderful in your life, you have an obligation to share it with others."
Body – Mind – Spirit