“Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice…It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint.” Henri J. M. Nouwen
Just like starting off the New Year with a resolution to start hitting the gym, a gratitude practice takes commitment. Think about picking up a five-pound weight for the first time. Pushing yourself to complete several reps, you feel great. Then the pain of sore muscles sets in and you have a choice – you can quit or keep going. By choosing to continue, your strength increases. Over time you can lift ten-pounds or fifteen pounds with ease. You break through and experience the rewards of better health.
It’s the same with gratefulness. Pick up a gratitude journal for the first time. You push yourself to do it, and you feel great. Then you experience a painful situation that makes you sore. At that point, you can decide to start back up when “something good happens” or you can persist.
As you continue to write down three to five things you are grateful for every day, your “gratitude muscle” gets stronger. It becomes easy to notice ten or fifteen things for which you are thankful. Then, when something bad happens, your first response is to find something to appreciate in the situation. You break through and experience the rewards of gratefulness – better attitude, less stress, stronger relationships and so much more. You ROCK!