With Thanksgiving right around the corner, this is the time of year we all consider that with which we have to be thankful. This time of year also makes us think of being grateful. Is there a difference? According to Michigan State University, there is a subtle difference.
We are grateful for what we have.
We are thankful for something given to us.
Thankful or Grateful, both are a positive energy.
The more thankful and grateful we are, the more positive energy we possess.
Imagine an Energy Continuum where one end represents Maximum Negative Energy (MNE) or the person who is least thankful or grateful. The other end is Maximum Positive Energy (MPE) or those who are most thankful and grateful.
MNE <————————————————————————> MPE
The more thankful we are, the more our Energy Barometer moves right toward positive energy. Now, whether we call this barometer Energy or Karma, I think we would be in unanimous agreement that being positive is often associated with more happiness and rewards in life than does the negative side. How about some convincing?
Those who live in Negative Energy tend to be more angry or just plain unhappy. They likely complain, argue and otherwise disagree on a regular basis. Their posture is often slumped. They rarely smile, and they are rarely thankful or grateful.
On the Positive Energy side, we see individuals who are happy, upbeat and grateful for life. They always smile and they typically have a positive word to say. Gratefulness would appear to be the primary determining factor.
Now let’s look at a Happiness continuum where one side is being happy and satisfied and the other side being grumpy and rarely satisfied.
GRUMPY <————————————————————-> SATISFIED
Realizing this, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the more grateful we are, the more positive energy we will have, and the happier and more satisfied we will be? So why don’t more of us follow this formula? While it may seem obvious to some, what I typically say is, we don’t come into this world with an instruction manual; it is not obvious to many. Another reason some of us may not embrace this life-changing strategy is that they do life backwards.
Have • Be • Do
Be • Do • Have
First, they want to HAVE what happy people have… then they can DO what happy people do… so they can BE happy.
True happiness comes when we are BEing thankful & grateful, DOing what grateful people do, so they can HAVE happiness.
As it turns out, Being Thankful is truly good for us.
The question becomes, who would you rather hang out with; someone with negative energy or one who is positive? Psychology research tells us that our most dominant thoughts are what we become. If we hang our heads and are mired in negative thought, we cannot possibly be happy and upbeat. Conversely, if we are consumed with positive grateful thoughts it is nearly impossible to feel depressed. Who do you want to be?
Three action steps to BEing Thankful:
- Every morning write down three things or people you are grateful Do not repeat. Dig deep. Consider any positive experience you had over the previous 24 hours.
- Every day, perform a random act of kindness. Do something above and beyond simply holding the door for someone, although it could work in the right circumstance. Send someone a love note in the mail, how about a (small) gift?
- Give. Give of your time &/or your money to help an organization or cause near and dear to you.
Happy Thanksgiving, I am grateful for you…
Wishing you much success pushing that Positive Energy continuum to the right.
As always, your feedback is appreciated.
Solutions for Better Health, Naturally!
Peter A Holst, DC