COULD OUR WELLNESS BE DIRECTLY PROPORTIONATE TO OUR LEVEL OF GRATITUDE?
GRATITUDE REQUIRES A RECIPIENT.
GRATITUDE PART 1: Greetings! Did you know that a person that practices the virtue of Gratitude has an overall well-being above the average person?
We can all agree that "wellness" encompasses the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual realms of our persons. The well being of a consistently grateful person is measured and evidenced in their level of optimism, their ability to have strong personal relationships, the ability to live happier lives, and the ability to be more disciplined and focused.
Gratitude is seen as a “virtue” in ancient philosophical circles and one that is foundational to a successful civilization.”
This statement suggests that failing civilizations are unthankful ones and lack gratitude. We can probably narrow this down to the institution of family as well. I believe that our families and individual persons can excel through the consistent practice of thankfulness and giving thanks. Current data also suggests this truth.
My main point today will be focused on the requirement of an “Object” or “Recipient” for Gratitude. I often wonder how an atheist practices thankfulness for nature, a cool breeze on a summer day, or a nice hot bath at the end of a stressful one.
Being grateful and thankful requires someone to be thankful to! According to
https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/gratitude-appreciation/ there are two stages of gratitude:
(Dr. Robert Emmons)
- 1." First comes the acknowledgment of goodness in one’s life. In a state of gratitude, we say yes to life. We affirm that all in all, life is good, and has elements that make it not just worth living, but rich in texture and detail. The acknowledgement that we have received something gratifies us, both by its presence and by the effort the giver put into choosing it.”
- 2." Second, gratitude is recognizing that some of the sources of this goodness lie outside the self. At this stage, the object of gratitude is other-directed; one can be grateful to other people, to animals, and to the world, but not to oneself. At this stage, we recognize not only the goodness in our lives, but “Who” is to thank for it, and who has made sacrifices so that we could be happy.”
I encourage you to start being proactive now, several weeks before the upcoming holiday of Thanksgiving so that you can be an example to all of those around you and reap the benefits in your own body and person for practicing the virtue of Gratitude.
We are encouraged in the scriptures to give thanks:
1 Thessalonians 5:18 King James Version (KJV): 18 "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
Being thankful to God (YHWH) is also an attribute of His followers and brings contentment:
1 Timothy 6:6-8
"Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content."
Stay tuned for the next blog in 2 weeks and I will share with you how we can use interactive links for family/group projects and practical ways to practice Gratitude.
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