Wellness Resources

The Two Sides of Gratitude

The Two Sides of Gratitude

Why is it so hard to be thankful? Research shows the numerous benefits behind the practice of gratitude and it is a virtue most of us desire to possess. The truth is even when we incline our hearts toward gratitude we are met with the challenges and difficulties of our ever day.  Because at the same time, research has found humans have a bias toward negative thinking when making sense of the world around us. Although a trait that served our ancestors well, who frequently faced dangerous environments, it now contributes to high levels of anxiety and stress when we encounter the not-so-immediate "risks" of our modern world. But I believe, just as we can always find reasons to be upset if we look long and hard enough, we can also discover moments of gratitude if we open our eyes and minds to the possibility.

A Glimpse of something more.

Life's demands often conspire to narrow our focus, obscuring the beauty that lies beyond the immediate. Gratitude acts as a gentle hand that urges us to pause, take a deep breath, and widen our perspective. This widening grants us a renewed lens through which we can view our challenges, revealing hidden tools and choices that empower us to navigate life's complexities with newfound clarity.

A choice we make.

Gratitude, can be found easily at an act of kindness from a friend or the breathtaking view of a sunrise. Yet, there are moments when gratitude demands we make a conscious choice. It is more than a fleeting emotion but also an intentional decision that shapes our lives. Gratitude doesn't promise immunity from hardships; it’s a companion that walks alongside us, helping us respond to challenges with resilience.

Unlikely companions.

Elie Wiesel, writer and Holocaust survivor, shares his story of gratitude's transformative power amidst the horrors of Auschwitz. There in the darkest of circumstances and through his struggles is where he learned to cultivate gratitude. His story reminds us that even in the bleakest of scenarios, gratitude is possible, illuminating our path toward hope and resilience. In fact, sometimes hardship can be a companion to gratitude and not always it's enemy. It reminds us to appreciate the beauty we take for granted and remind us of our immense capacity for resilience.

Better together.

Gratitude extends beyond an individual practice; it also draws us closer to the communities we are a part of. It's not just about what we receive but also about what we give back. Gratitude isn't a transaction; it recognizes our roles as both givers and recipients, shaping us individually, and actively enhancing the well-being of others.

A simple practice for you.

Reflect upon the past year, recall a challenge you overcame and how you grew from the experience.  This journey backward is not to dwell on past difficulties but to acknowledge your ability to persevere. Next, think of your now. Uncover something to be grateful for in this very moment. It can be as simple as your breath or your heart beating. Finally, cast your eyes forward, and remind yourself of your resilience and capacity to navigate what lies ahead. This practice integrates your past, present, and future bringing together the experiences shaping who you are today and who are becoming tomorrow.

In a world filled with both shadows and light, gratitude can keep us connected to the beauty within our very human experiences. But it is a practice that demands our attention. Gratitude isn't a mere emotion; it's an active choice that colors our perception, shapes our character, and enriches our connections.

Gratitude is most effective when expressed. Consider booking a connection with a trained Forte Guide to practice the simple yet powerful tool of Gratitude.