Thankfulness is tied to feelings of the heart. Being thankful is a feeling of appreciation toward something or someone. We can be thankful for the simplest to the most complex things of life. We can also be thankful for the people whom we share life with.
I saw a phrase once that said thankfulness disrupts complaining. When we only see the negative in someone we can make a choice to look for the good that we can be thankful for. Staying thankful for someone in the midst of conflict is a decision that can be made in the moment and over time. We don’t have to like what someone does in a moment, we can keep looking for reasons to be thankful for someone over time.
How we choose to respond to each challenge of the day is also a choice. We can remain thankful even during the most difficult times of life. Why? There are always small blessings we can be thankful for, sometimes we just have to look for them. It can take effort to think about, realize, and recognize the people and things we can and should be thankful for daily. Naming our blessings by writing them down or saying them to ourselves helps us to be able to see all that we have been given. It is the realization of things and people we are blessed with that can turn discontentment into an attitude of thankfulness.
Gratitude is the outward expression of an inward attitude of thankfulness. It is easy to say we are thankful, it is much more complex to show our thankfulness. When expressing gratitude for the people who are a part of our lives, we are also more readily able to recognize all of the value they bring to our lives. Having even one person in our life we are thankful for is a blessing. Having one or multiple friends and family members who love and care about us is something we can and should be thankful for.
We can give thanks with a grateful heart for the many blessings we have been given. They say it takes a minimum of 21 days to form a new habit. What if we each focused on being thankful for the next 28 days during this holiday season? Would it change how we feel about the crazy busyness of the season? As we continue to develop as individuals, our character is what others see through our words and our actions. A heart of gratitude is expressed through how we show our thankfulness, in life , and toward others.