The Practice of Gratitude Part 3
…that habit of discontentment can only be driven out by hammering in one iron sharper. The sleek pin of gratitude.
Ann Voss Kamp
Most of us admit we have much in which we are grateful. Yet, we find we don’t translate thankfulness when we meet inconveniences or irritations such as getting cut off in traffic or having to sit at yet another ball game in 100-degree weather (just sayin’). Discontent tends to worm its way in, doesn’t it?
Gratitude is transformative. I have experienced it powerfully and my gratitude set point continues to increase. But this brain-shift is a process and oftentimes reframing must happen. It takes work and intentionality, yes, however, the work is amazingly worthwhile because there is a pay-off!
Scientific research supports the notion that gratitude transforms. We know this already, don’t we? Even so, I enjoy reading the studies and watching the TED talks and videos (I put a cool video on the end of this post for you). Research has found gratitude increases our well-being in these three areas: social, mental and physical.
Personally, I have seen it benefit me in all three areas. Also, I have noticed happy changes in those around me who undertake the practice of gratitude. There is a payback as the practice changes our hearts.
- Diminish anxiety
- Decrease feelings of entitlement
- Stop us from complaining
- Remind us that God is in control, we are not
- Get our eyes off us
- Give us better perception for others in need
- Cause us to be “grateful examples” to others
- Make us positive and desirous to hang around (grateful people are contagious)
- Lead us to appreciate people in our lives
- Through us, shine a light for Jesus in a negative world
And much, much more.
Intentionally reframing with gratefulness in not-so-fun situations can change the brain. Over time, it becomes automatic. Gratitude pays us back in big dividends. Even in traffic and at 100-degree ball games.
~Your list: In what ways has gratitude paid you back?
~List 10 things for which you are grateful.
~Who are you grateful for? Tell that person.