Have you ever met someone who is extremely and naturally happy and thankful? I have. And, I often think they are amazing. It is like they were born with an extra large gratitude muscle. They are like my cat, Lydia, the eternal optimist. No matter how grouchy my older cat gets around her she manages to keep on purring and purring.
Looking around for some research I found that some people may be more prone to be naturally grateful because of certain genetic factors. Okay. So, what about the rest of us who struggle to see the silver lining in everything?
Well, there is good news for us. We can learn this skill! Just like yoga it may be an intentional practice at first. But, if we practice it regularly can have lasting effects (just like yoga) like noting positive things around us more naturally. Yup. Just writing down three things you are thankful for daily for a period of time can get the ball rolling. Try it. You may be pleasantly surprised.
One thing, if I understand the literature and research correctly, is that you truly have to be grateful and have that thankful feeling inside of you when you put something on your list. It can’t just be a rote exercise. So, I suggest listing things you easily and truly can be thankful for and see what happens.
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Evelyn Schmechtig Cochran