Happiness doubled by wonder – that’s what can grow out of being thankful and living a grateful life.
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
It’s not that simple, though. And we shouldn’t be surprised, I guess, as everything that truly has worth needs effort to shore up the action.
Is being thankful easy for you?
I think all of us would like to believe that we are thankful people. (It’s almost indisputable that we have many, many things to be thankful for…)
Maybe our parents insisted we write a thank you card after receiving a gift, which began a habit which continued into adulthood. Or not.
Perhaps we use the words “thank you” a few times a day when our spouse or wait-staff hand us something to eat. Or we respond with thanks when a stranger, co-worker or loved-one does something to benefit our well-being.
It’s even possible that we journal or list those items we are grateful for each day. For example, I have an app on my phone called Gratitude 365 – it’s especially useful because my phone is with me all day, every day. I snap a photo and write down all I can think of that causes me to be thankful. Robert and I have made lists of more than 100 items we’re thankful for – you’d be surprised how easy it is to do this.
But does all this thankfulness lead to a higher level of thought and bring about a happiness doubled by wonder?
Happiness doubled by wonder. Really?
I’m going to suggest it’s not the action of cataloging thankfulness that brings about happiness… (though maybe it begins there). It’s not saying, “thank you” that makes a difference in our happiness.
We need to pause to feel thankful.
First pause. Then feel.
After those steps, perhaps our thoughts can rise above mundane and petty annoyances.
When I take the time to really feel that gratitude – I must be candid – I am humbled.
I know my mistakes and failings. I know my smelly inner dialogue. And there is a scary and startling wonder that comes from realizing I’ve been gifted (often despite my efforts) with an immense list of things to be thankful for… relationships, physical abilities, and items, circumstances both avoided and experienced, and a good future, in my view, granted by the grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus’ life.
It’s not comfortable.
That wonder isn’t always a comfortable feeling. And the happiness which grows from the wonder makes me realize how very blessed I am. Which, again, isn’t always comfortable.
Should feeling thankful be comfortable? What do you think?
What do you feel?
How does being thankful – feeling grateful – work in your life? Has it made a difference? How? Please share your insights…
Want more prompts to be thankful?
Here are a few articles on the specifics of being thankful – filled with gratitude…
- Thankful for the View
- Your nose knows how to be thankful.
- Being Thankful for the Investment
- A history of being Thankful for books.
- Thankful for Convenience
- Thankful for your Spot
- Thankful for Traditions
- Being Thankful for prayer
- Thankful for your favorite…
- Aways thankful for safety
- Be thankful for H20
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Oh my gosh, I needed to read this today Lori. I love this distinction of feeling thankful versus simply saying thank you. That embodied sense of gratitude is so empowering. What a lovely post, thank you!
I am thankful, but do I always say it/show it? No. I love the “First pause. Then feel”. I am going to do this, intentionally. I am also going to check out that app. Thank you!
I am thankful for so many things but I also always say thank you. I think today’s generation is quite a bit different from when I was growing up in the 50’s. I’m not sure if people are thankful but many don’t use thank you.
I did start a project with a few girl friends of writing down 10 things each day that I am thankful for. I do it every morning as part of my morning reflection time. It starts the day off much different.
I like that: “We need to pause to FEEL thankful.”
Sometimes I say, I’m grateful but…
Good reminder. We began the year in my writer’s group with a gratitude journal and I loved it….
Just have to resurrect it. 🙂
Something I hope to do in my journal daily is to write down what I am grateful for. It’s definitely something that has helped me mentally.