Positive Psychology today is one of the newest branches of psychology, which stresses that one key to happiness is simply learning to appreciate what you already possess. This really is not a new development as Sophocles the ancient Greek playwright wrote, “Gratitude to gratitude always gives birth.” Another ancient writer wrote, “In everything give thanks . . .”

 

Here’s a question I ask myself regardless how I am feeling about a thing or situation, “What is there to cause gratitude?” Regardless of what’s causing me angst at the present moment I can always, if I look closely enough, find plenty of sources for gratitude. Here are some thoughts:

More Gratitude – Less Stuff Focused

“Grateful people report themselves as being less materialistic and less envious. In particular, grateful people report being more willing to part with their possessions, be more generous with them, less envious of the material wealth of others, and less committed to the idea that material wealth brings happiness. Apparently, material success is not a very important factor in the happiness of highly grateful people.”         (Study Reported in: http://happierhuman.com/the-science-of-gratitude/

More Gratitude – Better Relationships

So, you’re struggling in your relationship with a person.  You value that person, but it appears you’re like two icebergs drifting away from each other or two lightening bolts striking and vanishing. Sometimes, these complications are owed to an egocentric way to thinking.  Often we think like this, “Well, if she would just meet my needs like this. I’d be happier about us.”  Or, “If my boss could just for once appreciate me!  Than, I perhaps might work harder and produce more.

Among missionaries, “If that missionaries could see it my way just a little bit more.” Or with a national pastor, “He’s just not doing it the way we taught him.” With transitional challenges, “Why in the world, do they do it that way?”

Try something different.  Try to appreciate that person in your life your struggling with. Here’s what I’ve found.  People respond to being appreciated much much more than they respond to expectational pressure.

Give it a try!  What could it hurt!

More Gratitude – Living Better Today

Grateful people tend to concentrate more on today than tomorrow.  They focus on the present more than the past and future.  Gratitude teaches us to appreciate the many things of life that surround us every day which often go unnoticed.  As I learn to just be thankful for today, I learn to get past the hurts of yesterday a little easier, and not worry so much about the possibilities of tomorrow.

More Gratitude – Less Toxicity 

When I focus upon gratitude and its bounty, it fills up an empty space in my life.  All of us possess this empty space.  When we choose a career, we fill it a bit.  When we marry, we fill it a bit.  When we buy a new car perhaps, the hole fills up.  When experiencing a happy event, the hole fills even more.  The same is true for negative thoughts.

When I choose to dwell on negative thoughts about other people, something is dumped into the abode of my soul.  When choosing to hate, my soul fills up.  When choosing to complain, another couple of pennies drop into my well of life.  And, when mentally and emotionally bathing in the arena of toxic dispositions, guess what my well of life is like?

There a hundred possibilities in my life right now.  All these possibilities are screaming for attention.  There are also a hundred negative experiences in my life too.  These experiences, seek to draw me into the web of dissatisfaction, discontent, and disconnection.

Today however, I chose to focus on my grandchildren who sat around me at the table asking me to play with them.  Here these little people love me unconditionally asking only for some of papas time.  It is right here and right now on this very day I realized that I am loved, I am appreciated, and I am fortunate above all people because I and only I enjoy this right here and right now.

Tomorrow will come with or without me.  But right here, and right now, gratitude surrounds me, because there really is a lot to be thankful for at this moment. Gratitude changes how I view right here and now, which we call today. 


Just My Thoughts,

Don Mingo

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