The Benefits of having an Attitude of Gratitude

“Thank you!”

Is it a phrase or a perspective? Is it a polite statement or a heart of gratitude? Most of us were taught from a young age to say thank you. When you learn a new language that’s one of the first things you learn. Just like hello, you’re welcome, where’s the bathroom, and goodbye. They’re the basics.

It’s quick to say, it’s easy to learn, and you can shorten the letters if you need to in a text message.

Behind the phrase, behind the politeness, and behind the basics is gratitude. We express gratitude by saying THANK YOU!

Do we say it enough?

Do we say it like we mean it?

As I write this I feel convicted for simply speaking it but maybe not really thinking it. Because am I taking in what I’m thankful for when I tell someone Thank You. It could be little, “Hey, thanks for running to the store for me.” Or it could be “Thank you for your friendship, it means a lot.”

I’ve kind of complained a lot the past couple days, and I’ve noticed it. I’ve apologized to my husband because I don’t like the feeling of complaining. If you’re complaining it’s probably because you’re a tad ungrateful. You could be focused on what you don’t have versus what you do have. You could be staring at the green grass on the other side because complaining is a best friend to ungratefulness. We all know (it’s pretty common sense) that once you start down that path, it just keeps going.

It’s the same way with gratitude and thankfulness. When you start that path of thinking and recognizing what you’re thankful for, it will keep going.

Where will you keep going?

It may not always be easy to spew out a list of things you’re thankful for, but there is always something. A roof over your head, or food in the fridge, there is always something.

There is a theory of Gratitude that I’d like to share with you purposed by US psychologist Sara Algoe, from the University of North Carolina:

Find-Remind-and-Bind:

  • the initiation of new social relationships (a find function)
  • orients people to existing social relationships (a remind function)
  • promotes maintenance of and investment in these relationships (a bind function)

“As with all emotions, gratitude can be both felt and expressed. The evidence on how feeling gratitude functions to find, remind, and bind in social relationships is robust. From promoting helping and trust to lowering aggression, feeling grateful gives rise to a wide range of outcomes that benefit both parties in a social relationship.”

When you’re thankful you’ve realized what you’ve been given. What have you been given?

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”

Psalms 136:1

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