- Mental Health»
Gratitude – Not Just Today …
As November comes to a close, it signals the start of the holiday season, and for us folks in the U.S., we have Thanksgiving, Christmas, and of course the welcoming of the new year. And during this time, for some odd reason, we get warm and fuzzy, and … for a lack of a better term, nice. Well, I suppose most of us get into the holiday spirit, you know that giving-thankful-and-all-around-nice person state of mind. I wonder if world peace would be possible if people around the world acted that way every day. Hmmm … I guess we’ll need to table that philosophical discussion for another time.
So I’d be a hypocrite if I told you to be thankful every day, 24x7. I certainly don’t have a well deep enough to be thankful every nanosecond of my life. However, I do make it a point to be grateful every day. And don’t get me wrong here … I don’t necessarily tell myself that I’m thankful for everything in my life. Well, maybe sometimes, but not on a daily basis. It’s what you don’t say that puts a genuine stamp of gratitude on your heart, too. Complainers seem to drain my life force, and I try to distance myself from them. Complainers are never satisfied, and they tend to spew out negativity and lack. Oh, and those people that have that “what’s in it for me” attitude or believe that they’re owed something? Major energy drainers … in my humble opinion.
Okay, I’m off my soap box now. ;-)
There’s someone at work that has this gracious spirit. Let’s call this individual “Gee”. The word “Thank You” is totally ingrained in Gee’s vocabulary. It’s a refreshing change from all that negativity that surrounds the “water cooler conversations” of gossip and complaints. Gee never seems to be in a bad mood, always positive and never frets. It is just energizing to be around Gee. So one day out of the blue I asked Gee, “So what’s your secret?”, and the response I got was, “What secret?” So I clarified my question and asked why such a gracious, positive attitude? “Easy”, Gee said with a smile. And he continued, saying, “Don’t react to everything that happens, step back, take a deep breath, and be thankful for what you got. And for those rough days when things just don’t go as planned … start a mental gratitude journal. You need to stop those negative thoughts from taking over and focus on things you are truly grateful for.”
So what goes into a mental gratitude journal? I suppose thoughts, events or people that make you happy and smile, and that have influenced you in the most positive and profound way. And the rationale is that if you use it on a daily basis, your attitude of gratitude will kick into auto-pilot and block out negative thoughts before it even has a chance to manifest itself in an undesirable action.
Being around Gee, as I mentioned earlier, is definitely an “upper”. Being in a state of gratitude just emanates a very high positive energy. A grateful mind is focused on the best, and thus, it opens you up to receive the best. The practice of gratitude should not be a once in a year event, but something that should be practiced more often.