Have an Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude, according to Merriam-Webster, means, and I quote, “the state of being grateful: Thankfulness. "Perhaps someone held a door open for you, and you expressed your gratitude by saying thank you. Maybe a co-worker brought you a cup of hot chocolate to your desk, and you most likely shook their hand or thanked them for showing your gratitude. Our things not going as well for you as you had hoped, or do you feel like you keep missing your boat that’s leaving without you? Through this article, I will talk about the importance of committing to living with an attitude of gratitude all the time.

People that do things for you often hear your reply of Thank-you, but are you grateful for what they did for you? I'll gladly explain if you ask me what I am talking about. When we speak a quick Thank-you or thanks, it is often just a word stated without emotion or genuine feeling. What does it matter? You remember I have told everyone that our second brain is our second heart. Did you know that the brain has more connections going from it to the brain than the brain to the heart? Thus, the heart is more than the organ that pumps blood around our body, allowing oxygen ingress and carbon dioxide to egress. Now the boss of the heart is the brain, but the brain is also responsible for thoughts that the heart can process to feel an emotion.  

Remember, the heart is the critical component that allows us to experience feelings. The next time you are near a loved one, imagine they feel your love, and they will. Now, think for a moment that last time you felt in fear or were worried about something; you felt that in your heart. Suppose you were to sense the love you are getting from someone else; yes, it stems from nature. Thus, it goes nowhere if we try to send/receive feelings with our brain alone.

Did you know that you have the power to change your current state or feeling? Yes, it is genuine. You can make yourself happy, sad, worried, angry, excited, joyful, peaceful, praised, or loved by your choice. You have heard me say before that it is not what we experience that makes the difference but how we choose to respond to those feelings of ourselves and others. Imagine changing that state from worry to trust; you can do this. Most people don’t know that it all starts/stops with a thought.

I discovered many years ago that we could change our minds and feelings in less than a few seconds. We learned before that gratitude is not just a word but a feeling within ourselves. When I was grateful for anything, more things appeared in my life to express my gratitude for. The key is to adopt an attitude of gratitude, but how do I accomplish this if I need something else right now? 

Whether you have a penny or billions of dollars to your name, gratitude starts by filling your heart with joy and peace. You may be saying I’m too busy to be grateful for things, and you will miss the primary purpose of life. We are on this earth to share and receive experiences with each other using the thoughts from our minds and the feelings that touch our hearts.

Choosing to be grateful is simple when you commit to doing it daily. I call this John’s alphabet of gratitude. Pick a time twice daily; the best way is to find something you do every morning and night to establish consistent times. Many people wear a watch or jewelry in the morning and then take it off at night. If you don’t have a watch or jewelry, you could use the times when you get up and just before sleep. Another time marker could be when you get dressed in the morning and the other when you get undressed at night.

You can start by sitting in a comfortable chair or lying down on your bed. Next, please close your eyes; take a deep breath for the count of three, then hold it for a count of three, and while mentally repeating and visualizing the number three times in your mind, exhale for a count of three. Then do this with the number two with the exact count of three and then with the number one. Now count backward slowly from 100-1, noticing how relaxed you are with his descending number. Then picture the first letter of the alphabet, “A,” and think about one thing you are grateful for that starts with this letter. For example, I love to use “A”; I am so happy and thankful that I am alive. See it in your mind, feel it in your heart, and then think of the second thing you are grateful for, starting with the letter “A.” I am so happy and grateful that there is abundant air for me to breathe easily. You then proceed to the following letter, thinking and feeling it for two more things and doing this until you get through the entire alphabet to the letter “Z.”

How does it work, you may be asking? When we are grateful, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, two primary neurotransmitters to start the process of feeling good. Dopamine and serotonin are released into our bloodstream; we begin to feel good once they hit the heart. 

Dopamine is produced in the brain by changing the amino acid tyrosine to a specific substance called dopa and finally into dopamine. Dopamine has been studied and found to increase learning, motivation, heart rate, blood vessels, kidneys, lactation in women, sleep, mood, attention, control of nausea, regurgitation, pain, and movement.

About 90% of your Serotonin lives in your intestines, while the remaining 10% resides in your blood’s platelets. Serotonin is made via a biochemical process starting with tryptophan, a protein building block. Cells use tryptophan hydroxylase, a chemical reactor that merges with tryptophan and forms 5-hydroxytryptamine, also known as Serotonin. Serotonin’s primary job is regulating mood, bowel movements, sleep, walking, blood-clotting, and being responsible for your body’s sexual function.

Thus, when we can raise these levels, they will dramatically improve the quality and our lifespan. Try it today; the next time someone does something nice for you, don’t just say thank you, feel that thank you in your heart. I promise you will start feeling great in just a few seconds, and what this to continue. This is another reason why grateful people experience a rewarding and passionate lifestyle. Each day practice John’s Alphabet of gratitude for two things starting with each letter in the Alphabet and feeling them in your heart.

Now we can’t make someone grateful for things, but when they see how happy, passionate, and how much love you have for life, they might ask what you are doing. Tell them that you can feel like this too, it’s a choice, and with some practice, it will become automatic.

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