Attitude or Gratitude?
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Let me tell you another true story.
A little while ago I was driving down a very busy county highway and there was a guy standing in the middle of the road.
He was waiving his arms and I stopped my truck.
He indicated that he ran out of gas and asked if I could give him a ride to the nearest gas station.
Since there is a gas station near my office, I agreed.
I drove the guy to the gas station and he purchased a plastic gas can and filled it with a gallon of gas.
He then asked me if I could drive him back to his vehicle because he had no way of getting back.
I agreed again.
When we arrived at his vehicle, the guy just got out of my truck and walked away without saying a word.
Not a thank you. Not a good bye. Nothing. Not a single word.
I had given about an hour of my time and a gallon of my own gas to take him to the gas station and then back to his vehicle.
I have to admit, I was expecting a different response, a different attitude and showing some gratitude.
I believe the man I helped was letting his attitude about running of gas and having a bad day override his ability to express any gratitude.
Attitude is defined as “a way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior.”
Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
What are some advantages of practicing gratitude instead of attitude in your own life?
- Practicing gratitude has positive effects on your brain. When you practice gratitude, you create new neural pathways including new wiring of neurons in your brain and increase levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. The dopamine and serotonin and act as a natural anti-depressant. Hebb’s Law, which deals with coding of neurons during a learning process, simply put states that “neurons that wire together, fire together.” The more time these neural pathways are activated when you express gratitude, the easier it is to express gratitude in other situations due to your own behavioral patterns.
- Practicing gratitude has positive effects on your body. According to one medical study, practicing gratitude on a regular basis “is associated with higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL), lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, both at rest and in the face of stress. Gratitude has also has been linked with higher levels of heart rate variability, a marker of cardiac coherence, a state of harmony in the nervous system and heart rate that is equated with less stress and mental clarity.”
- Practicing gratitude has positive effects on your spiritual health. Practicing gratitude causes you to live in the present moment in a mindful state. Expressing gratitude creates a positive mindset based on positive emotions for you. Practicing gratitude opens your heart space, creates empathy, connects you to others and enhances your relationships. Practicing gratitude on a regular basis creates embedded patterns into your subconscious mind and being grateful becomes one of your own personal spoken “truths.”
Practicing gratitude allows you to create a positive impact in your own life and in the life of others
Out There on the Edge of Everything®…
Stephen Lesavich, PhD
Copyright © 2023 by Stephen Lesavich, PhD. All rights reserved.
Certified solution-focused life coach and experienced business coach.