Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Word Gratitude

There are times when we get caught up in daily activities and feel the stress that comes with just moving through each day. How we end up at the end of the day depends upon how we manage things as we go along. And our thoughts have more influence than we realize. Thoughts have energy, and we can't have an emotion without a thought preceding it. Sometimes our hands are busy and we're not aware of what our mind is doing, but it may be leading us into a lot of unnecessary stress.

It's easy to take things for granted or drift into ain't it awful thoughts or get into a worry mode without knowing you're there. But there's one word that can trigger a change in direction. The word is gratitude. It's as if you're riding down an uncomfortable bumpy road with no peace in sight when suddenly saying the word smooths out the bumps, and the ride becomes pleasant. You can actually feel a shift in your emotions when you choose to appreciate instead of criticize or resist with your thoughts.

When you find yourself in worrisome thoughts, think of the meaning of gratitude, and say the word in a strong, firm way with conviction. You don't need to think of something for which you're grateful. Just say the word, and feel the sudden peace and joy that replace the discomfort. This feeling may not last all day, but you can pull yourself back to where you want to be each time you say the word.

I recently returned from a trip to Dallas to visit my daughter and her family. I found myself comparing the way I felt there versus how I feel at home. I was amazed at some of the differences. I love my children, and I had a wonderful time with them, so of course I felt calm, fulfilled and grateful during my stay. But I have to admit that I sometimes feel like climbing the walls at home.

I've always known the difference gratitude can make, but at my daughter's house I became fully aware of the power in this word. Now I intend to use the word more often at home. And I'm grateful for this visit with my family.

I wish you fewer bumps and more peace on your journey.