The Power of Gratitude

 In Family, Health, OBX Locals

When we were little, our parents taught us to say thank you when someone handed us something. What do you say?” would be the repeated prompt, and as children, we gave the obligatory drawn out, “Thank You!” It was an action intended to be a reminder – a reminder to ourselves to be grateful. As adults, most people feel grateful when they receive gift or compliments, and during the holidays –Thanksgiving especially – this feeling tends to be magnified ten-fold for a multitude of reasons.   

But how do you cultivate gratitude year-round? Did you know it has a circular power? If you embrace deep-down-honest-from-the-bottom-of-your-heart gratitude, then you will surprisingly discover even MORE to be thankful for. Many wise, everyday people and cultural leaders have echoed the sentiment that there is always, ALWAYS, something to be grateful for. The seemingly commonplace stuff like family, a home, food on the table and work are usually first to come to mind. But what about during unexpected stresses such as lost job, spouse, or when someone you care about falls ill? It’s during these times that gratitude is really a precious and needed companion. I know in the thick of despair when personal chaos is disrupting our life, this focus may seem impossible. But it isn’t, and it couldn’t be more important. Start with the smallest day-to-day things like a hot cup of coffee, a warm shower, clothes to wear, or shoes to cover your feet, and build your house of hope from there. Gratitude is the cousin of Karma – what you put out is what you get back.  

 

No matter what is happening in your life before, during, and after the holidays, keep making your list. You can write it down or keep it internal. There will be times when you will have to dig deep, but just remember it’s circular – it’s all coming around, so keep your gratitude flowing. Make it a game or goal to see how many different ways you can express gratitude for one day, then one week, one month, and then become a grand master of gratitude stretching your reflections for 365 days! You will be amazed at the changes and opportunities that present themselves in your life and how it touches others in your circle. ♦

 

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