Have you ever just Googled a random word for the sheer curiosity of what comes up? I Googled "gratitude" today mostly because it's been on my mind lately. While I know what it means and how nourishing it is for our souls I was curious about what would come up. Of course nothing too out of the ordinary appeared except for the Psychology Today quote below that made me think, but it made me wonder how many people in the world are thinking, reading, talking and writing about "gratitude" and how that changes the vibrational freqency around us. (Have you ever encountered one of those digital art installations that shows floating baloons with data on the number of people with sad, happy or angry emotions in certain parts of the world at a particular time? It made me wish I could see how many people are feeling grateful at this moment in time, and whether it increases during parts of the year like around Thanksgiving or Christmas. But I digress.] Have you ever been around someone whose energy is so positive it raises your spirits and makes you want to be around them? And alternatively, have you ever encountered someone who is so negative or angry that you all of a sudden feel as they do? Imagine if you could motivate yourself to cultivate gratitude for someone or something everyday. How much more positive would you feel? And I'd be willing to bet that you would also rub off on others.
Psychology Today has the following definition for "gratitude:"
Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, say, a consumer-oriented emphasis on what one wants or needs—and is currently receiving a great deal of attention as a facet of positive psychology. Gratitude is what gets poured into the glass to make it half full. Studies show that gratitude not only can be deliberately cultivated but can increase levels of well-being and happiness among those who do cultivate it. In addition, grateful thinking—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased levels of energy, optimism, and empathy.
I think that's pretty awesome! It actually reminds me of a quote by Zig Ziglar on motivation, "People always say that motivation doesn't last. Well neither does bathing. That's why we recommend it daily." It's so right on. Replacing motivation with gratitude yields a similar insight. Routines and habits form when there is a reward. If we can cultivate positive habits such as expressing gratitude or feeling grateful on a daily basis (just as we have developed the habit of showering on a - I hope - daily basis), imagine the reward for your well-being and for others' well-being if we all like being around positive people! What a challenge!
I'm going to find time to be grateful everyday no matter how difficult it may be to think of something! Again, I'm just curious!