Last Friday we talked about flexing our gratitude muscles. Feeling and showing gratitude sounds so simple. But it really has more facets than we might imagine. And it takes constant awareness. It's so easy to fall into negativity—especially when so much of the news that surrounds us is dire or sad and when so many around us complain constantly.
One of the things that it's important to keep in mind about gratitude is that we need to move beyond thinking or feeling thankful to expressing it.
Saying "Thank you" sometimes can seem like a lost art. Open doors for people in a public place—and it's amazing how many people simply march through them as though they're entitled. No thanks expressed at all. Let a car go in front of you when traffic is backed up on the tollway. Some people wave their thanks. But many don't.
It's so simple to say "Thank you" to the many kindnesses shown to us, whether they're large or small things. And truly, it feels good both to tell others "Thank you" and to be on the receiving end, doesn't it?
Again, it takes awareness. Be aware of feeling the gratitude. Then be aware of expressing it. You see, there really is more to this gratitude thing than meets the eye. It can make such a difference in our lives, however. It's said that gratitude, when practiced regularly, can actually open up new pathways in our brain and lead to greater health. It can shift our hostility, stress and even depression—and focus us on the positive. I think that's a worthy outcome, don't you?