We often hear in self-help meetings, “Have an attitude of gratitude”. For those of us who may not be feeling grateful, this can often come across as cliché and trite. But there is age old wisdom in the saying.
The great Roman Emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius once said, “As I think, so shall I do”. Thus, if I am thinking gratefully and counting the blessings which surround me, I will behave in accordance with my thoughts.
Simply put, our thoughts define who we are. Our self-talk shapes the life we live and the life we wish to live. For National Gratitude Month, how do we put gratitude into action? Contemplate for a moment, “What is gratitude really, and why is it foundational to recovery?”
Gratitude is more than saying thanks: it’s a mindset followed by behavior. We are reminded in the book of James that “Faith without works is dead”. In other words, our creeds need to match our deeds. Perhaps gratitude really isn’t a noun. Maybe gratitude is a verb.
Here are five ways to manifest your gratitude during Gratitude Month:
- Take in an extra meeting and look for a newcomer to help or assist. The best way to keep the program is by giving it away.
- Donate some time or money to a local food shelf.
- Volunteer at a local church or civic organization that is giving away or serving a Thanksgiving meal.
- Give to your favorite Minnesota charities during the Give to the Max campaign on November 18.
- Do a Random Act of Kindness for a neighbor, friend or family member, but it doesn’t count if you’re discovered. If that happens, you have to do another one.
If I am feeling grateful, I will behave gratefully. And the easiest way to feel grateful, is to behave gratefully. When we exercise gratitude, we look at everything we have and we think “I have everything I need. I am blessed.”
Happy Gratitude Month,