Thursday, November 23, 2006

Power of Thanks

It’s odd to think, but there is tremendous power in saying “Thank you.”

When we say it to someone else, we may diffuse misunderstandings or hurts or anger. We may find that we can dramatically alter patterns of behavior that have been a problem when we stop to thank someone for what they have done rather than attack them for what we perceive as flaws.

I’ve seen this happen in my own life. And when I think about it, I realize that I, like everyone else, responds far better to thank yous than I do to criticism. It makes me want to do more. I see the person far more kindly than if they took me for granted so it makes sense that it would work with others as well.

There’s another level of power in this, however, especially if we have been through abusive situations in the past. Abuse conditions us to expect negative things to happen to us. Learning to say “Thank you” causes us to focus on what is going right in our lives and to realize that NOW things can be good, things can go right. And that’s very powerful because when we focus on what is good in our lives, the good expands. We begin to expect good and so we find it. We act and react in very different ways when we expect good things in our lives and that causes others to act and react very differently toward us as well.

I also believe that on some level we don’t understand, when we thank the universe and/or God for the good things in our lives, something happens to bring more good into our lives.

And on still another level... When we are focused on the good in our lives, we FEEL differently about life and ourselves. The levels of stress hormones in our system are likely to be lower. We are more likely to smile and find reasons to laugh. All of these things increase our resilience and let us build up emotional reserves so that when we do face a challenge, we can face it with greater creativity, confidence, and courage.

There is tremendous power in focusing on “Thank you,” on being grateful for all that IS good in our lives. I am grateful that I get to write this blog and for all of you who read it.

Sending safe and gentle ((((((((hugs))))))),
April_optimist

4 comments:

manymeez said...

wonderful, wonderful, wondeful did I say wonderful? blog you have here. You are doing good things here.In response to the "power of thanks"...I certainly appreciate what you're saying. I am, however, in a slump, and not finding much joy or thankfulness in much of anything. I hope to be back on board soon. btw, thanks for your comment on coffeegrounds.

beautifuldreamer said...

I totally agree with this. That's why on my blog I do a "Things That Pleased Me This Week" post. It reminds me to not put all my focus on the negative in my life now, or the negative past I'm trying to recover from as I deal with childhood abuse issues. Thanks for writing this post, we all need the reminder to say "thank-you" more often.

Anonymous said...

yeh sayin thanks really helps many people an give em a sense a feelin good, grouse blog ya got ere.

April_optimist said...

Thanks everyone. It's good to have written lists of things we're grateful for so on tough days we can pull it out and remind ourselves. Also useful to have a list of things that make us smile or laugh for days like that.