Updated on November 6, 2016
Thankfulness: the beginning of gratitude
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that in order to achieve contentment, we should “cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.”
As we celebrate the coming holiday in America, most of us will have a thankful attitude on Thanksgiving Day. Too often, though, our attention wanes for the rest of the year. We should seek out things daily to be thankful for, i.e. give thanks continuously as Emerson suggests.
Here are two ways to focus an attitude of thankfulness beyond one Thursday in November.
- Use social media
Surprised? In our plugged-in culture, it’s impossible to avoid social media no matter how hard you try so why not use your posts, pictures, videos, and tweets to cultivate thankfulness on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Heaven knows we get enough of wars, earthquakes, floods, fires, sick children, murdered spouses and, lately, politics.
It seems the more suffering and mayhem, the more mass media coverage. Yet research shows the opposite: good news spreads faster and farther than disasters and sob stories.
By sharing positive, uplifting posts, memes, and videos, you encourage attitudes of thankfulness in yourself and others.
- Keep a gratitude list.
According to Henri Frederic Amiel, gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Writing down what you’re thankful for everyday reinforces positive thoughts and grateful feelings.
We’ll explore gratitude lists more next week. For now, can you think of ways you can foster thankfulness?