In my previous post (Attitude of Gratitude) I described the various benefits that cultivating an attitude of gratitude brings to our lives. But let’s explore this further. What actually is gratitude?
Robert Emmons, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and expert on gratitude, says that gratitude has two key components:
1. An affirmation of goodness: When you feel gratitude, you affirm that you live in a benevolent world. God is good!
2. A recognition that the source of this goodness comes from outside of yourself: You acknowledge that other people and specifically Jesus provide you with "gifts" that improve your life in some way.
According to Emmons, gratitude is "a relationship-strengthening emotion, because it requires us to see how we've been supported and affirmed by other people." That emotion is LOVE.
Gratitude and Health
One area of life that is easy to take for granted or forget to be grateful for is health – sometimes until it's too late.
We tend to take our health for granted until we're suddenly in the throes of pain or a debilitating illness... If you have good health and all your mental faculties intact, you also have the prerequisite basics for doing something about the less satisfactory situations in your life. ~ Dr. Joseph Mercola, physician and wellness expert.
Often health is a bridge back to the foundation for all thankfulness, God. It is in the losses of life that we recognize the greatest gift and the amazing gift Giver.
How to Cultivate Gratitude
First, start by cultivating gratitude for the little things, which will foster a more deep-seated sense of happiness. Like a muscle, your sense of gratitude can be strengthened with practice, each time you express it.
There is no better way to build your gratitude muscle than to start your day than with connecting with God from a position of gratitude. Using the model of ACTS is simple and powerful.
A – Adoration – Lord you are the almighty and I adore you. How many ways can you adore the Lord?
C – Confession – Lord – I present to you these areas of my life that are off course. Be specific! Recognizing that your confession connect you with the Almighty leads to…..
T – Thankfulness – Lord I am grateful for Your Forgiveness, life, relationships, nature, Your Word – add more – Write down what you are thankful for!
S – Supplication – Now is your time to ask for what you need. Lord, here is what is on my heart and where I need Your Presence.
Try the ACTS prayer discipline for ONE WEEK and see how your attitude changes and how much lighter your life becomes.
Consider creating a personal journal to share thoughts and insights with yourself, all the while helping you move through problems and come to solutions. There are now a number of digital apps that allow you to journal from anywhere at any time.
In his Beginner’s Guide to Digital Journaling, Bakari Chavanu lists his four favorite apps, including Penzu, which allows you to express your most private thoughts by providing password protection (for both your journal and individual entries).
What are you doing to pay attention to this important idea of the power of an attitude of gratitude?
Here is my CALENDAR to make connecting simple