How do you define it?
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of gratitude is :
“The state of being grateful.”
While I conducted my own method of “research” about the topic, I came up with my own definition. I’ll share that with you later, but lets dive into what I found about gratitude.
Gratitude is a subject I wanted to look more into because it was something that kept popping up in all my years of ‘soul searching’. It seemed like no matter what book/religion I read about or what lesson I was learning from Universe, gratitude was something that I needed to be practicing. While I acknowledge its importance in life transformation, I casually practiced the act itself….unless things in my life were going out of control.
Isn’t it funny to realize how different our prayers can be when our life scenarios are different?
When I said my daily prayers and gave thanks to my Creator for my life, I realized I did to without intention. It was always casual and easy. Just,
“Thanks Big Guy for all that you do up there!! You’re a rock star! I’m so grateful!”
I really meant it though! I am grateful…but it wasn’t fully heart-felt.
But when shit hit the fan for me and I would go through my depths of personal hell, my prayers were a LOT different.
I’m not sure if any of you have ever had an experience like mine.When you are feeling so lost
and you just pray.
because you are so lost you don’t know where else to turn.
In that sweet hour of prayer, you are made to surrender.
You surrender to the moment.
You pull your mind in to your soul. No thoughts. No awareness of your surroundings. No time.
Just that moment.
and then you FEEL the love. And you start giving thanks for love. You can’t help but to. It’s an overwhelming sense of being and your soul is flooding with joy and gratitude.
Because as the Law of Attractions states:
Like attracts Like. Whatever you give out you get. What comes around goes around.
You FEEL the LOVE. And you want more of it, so you must GIVE the LOVE back. And how do we do that? You betcha,
The “thanks” now shift into a feeling verses an action. You feel the love of everything you are grateful for. It becomes intentional now. Intention creates an energetic force. Gratitude with intention must therefore attract the things to be grateful for.
Law of Attraction 101.
Now let’s flow into research of gratitude in Neuroscience
There is a theory in neuroscience called Hebb’s Theory/Law which in its summarized state is:
Research conducted on the study of gratitude found that when individuals are continually practicing acts of gratitude, they were more likely to have and overall sense of happiness.
When we are thinking thoughts of gratitude, our pre-frontal cortex of our brain lights up and releases our feel good chemicals.
We all want this to happen in our brain because it makes us feel awesome. We live for it. Really, think about it.
Think about all the things we do in our day-to-day life give us the same hits of that high.
We go through our day-to-day life allowing these things to unconsciously/unintentionally give us a reason for feeling good. Our brain is so much on autopilot that we don’t usually go seeking it on our own. We have wired together the pathway of our neurotransmitters to our “feel goods” (aka dopeamine and seretionin) based on these habitual acts. We also know that if these acts cease or our thinking gets shifted, then our brain crashes and we look for more ways to feel the high. Some may know how to seek a healthy way to re-up our dose, some turn to self sabotaging ways.
*um yeah. I have done this sooo many times.
The Universe gave us this sneaky little trick to trick our brain into being in a healthy state of “high”
(you know it!)
By continually practicing daily acts of gratitude, our brain rewires our pathways of negative emotions and thinking and creates new ones that make us feel good. We can change our habits of how we receive our release of yummy brain chemicals by shifting the focus on all to be grateful for. Then, when we are feeling low, we can practice acts of gratitude and we are up and at it again. Isn’t that way more productive than drugs and alcohol?! The more we practice, the easier and stronger it is for us. Like anything we want to succeed at, practice makes us better.
We then can realize life is pretty damn great.
We become happy.
And who doesn’t want to be happy?!
Everyone wants to be happy!
We just don’t know where or how to start sometimes. This morning I realized that by counting all my blessings, I really was living a #BLESSED life. I mean, if I can sit there and think of all my blessings of this life experience that I get to have/do/be…then by default, doesn’t that mean my life is blessed? No matter what I was feeling/thinking/doing prior? And if I continually feel that I have things to be grateful for, by the Law of Attraction, I must continually get things to be grateful for?
Gratitude pulls you out and brings you back to where you need to sit your ass down, and be humble.
While we may have so much to complain about,
(which we ALL do)
if all we focus on is the shit in life….our life will be…
Plain and simple.
But if we choose to practice gratitude, and look at the blessing of our life, then our life will be 🙏🏽BLESSED🙏🏽.
That’s the perspective we wired our brain to look at our life. And I don’t know about y’all but I would rather choose to live my life feeling this way than feeling that my life is a mess. I know life is messy at times, but we all have so much to be grateful about. I know for me taking the time to give real gratitude has allowed me to be a happier person.
Have you ever seen the movie: Life of Pi
If you haven’t, stop right now and go watch it.
That movies really sums it up. Watch it at least 2 times to really understand it. I won’t spoil it, but this movie to me really showed me how we all have a choice of what perspective we choose to see the events in our life.
My conclusion of gratitude is that it is a reverence to God. It allows us to show our most humble and loving RESPECT to our Creator. We are a miracle. Life is a miracle. We have this beautiful experience here in this beautiful life. WE get to LIVE. I don’t just mean we are alive, but we LIVE by having all these wonderful experiences in our life. We get to have these things of joy, happiness, pain, and sorrow to shape and mold who we are and the SOUL we become. Life then has more love and meaning to it. It shifts us. It’s shifted me.
It’s helped me out of my darkest times, and I will FOREVER be grateful for that.