An Attitude of Gratitude

LeavesRailroad As the month of November dawns I have been reminded, through the help of Social Media, that this is the month of Thanksgiving.  Of course, I know the fourth Thursday of the month is the day set aside to give thanks as a Nation for the blessings of the harvest of the preceding year.  However, many have extended the practice of thanksgiving, and have begun to post something they are thankful for each day of the month.  I must admit I have been known to read these posts with a not so appreciative attitude.  I will be honest.  I sometimes read my Facebook news feed with a slight smirk on my face. I know… I’m awful. The thanksgiving posts range from a paragraph of detailed descriptions of gratitude, to a sentence, or a short phrase.  Some are deep in meaning and others are simple and superficial.  They all share the common core ingredient of thanksgiving.  I do appreciate the change in the type of posts during this month as some put aside any negativity or accusatory posts.  The climate of social media changes and people shift their perspective from the things they don’t have to the things they do have.  I believe for most people who commit to the practice the feelings and sentiments are authentic.  Perhaps for others it is simply the new theme to follow on Facebook, but at the heart of it, I don’t think the motivation matters. Gratitude is a good habit to form; for any reason and in any season. Dr. Mercola writes in the article 22 Habits of Happy People: “Express gratitude for what you have… People who are thankful for what they have are better    able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals.” www.hungryforchange Mercola goes on to suggest keeping a gratitude journal as a way to change your thought process and your habits. In other words, if happiness is a desire in your life then gratitude must be a daily practice.  It’s great to be reminded of the importance of giving thanks in the month of November, but it really needs to be a lifestyle.  Gratitude must be practiced if it is going to change the fabric of our heart and our life.  It can’t be something we dabble in, it must be something that we immerse ourselves in, like jumping into a lake or stepping into a shower.  Putting our toes in the water will serve to keep our toes wet, it will not change our entire countenance.  This November should be a time of gratitude, but shouldn’t everyday be a day to give thanks?  We all have blessings in our life and it’s time we begin to focus on what we have. I will no longer smirk at the Facebook posts this month.  I will smile and nod my head in silent agreement. We all can choose to be happy. Choose to be joyful. Choose to be grateful. “Image courtesy of Ashley Powers, Chico Ca.”

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