Gratitude from up highEvery day brings back and forth struggles between your wants and needs. This struggle, combined with a tendency to conform and a need for instant gratification, clouds your view of happiness. The science of gratitude offers some clarity, but like the physical concepts that explain why balloons fly, gratitude described as a transcendental idea, can be a hard theory to grasp.  Skeptics may say that gratitude as a science might be full of hot air – made out of Pollyanna principles created by people with their heads in the clouds.  But, what does gratitude feel like to you?

According to empirical evidence, gratitude helps you soar over criticism, fear, or hopelessness. It’s a tool to ward off despair; a healthy habit that lifts you up from everything that brings you down, including people asking you to attend to their earthly burdens. Things and people don’t fade away in the distance; it’s your attitudes towards them that change with gratefulness. You recognize how you’re better together. You see how listening to others is an opportunity to bear witness, draw empathy, love, and practice compassion.  These and other benefits indicate that part of the purpose of finding your gratitude is to gain awareness and connect with the world around you.

Indeed, gratitude expands your awareness, similarly to how heat makes air expand and rise; new and warm perspectives replace same old worn out assumptions; and positive recollections are realized as better live views. Like the hot air phenomenon, gratitude depends on intensity, mass, and density; thus not every grateful person expresses gratitude with the same passion, frequency, for the same reasons, or using the same words. This is because gratitude takes you to a place high enough where the view is mostly clear and you feel free and powerful in your small kingdom; you are free in your ego to be grateful. The fact is that paybacks of gratitude are up there and up to you. So, what does gratitude feel like to you?

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