"Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, --a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise."
-- George Herbert
"He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart."
-- J. A. Shedd
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget
that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live by them."
-- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Becoming a grateful person requires practice and it also requires letting go of anger, complaining and the like; however, it is something that doesn't require a complete and immediate turnaround, as it is just fine with the little-at-a-time method of accomplishment.
As I've found in my life that the more I am grateful, the less I find to be unhappy about. It is an accumulating process that overshadows, or rather, weeds out the need or desire to complain or be angry or unhappy. Even as some of those negative things pop up from time to time later on, they are so easily dealt with by finding what in them there is to be grateful for.
At first it may seem strange that something that is making you angry could have something in it that there is to be thankful for, but I assure you that it is in there. Indeed, it may not even be "it," as you may find many things to be thankful for in this that now appears to cause your anger.
As you turn to look at the things to be thankful for, the cause for anger becomes a cause for celebration (although at first, it may only be a bit larger than a pity party. . .). I really think that this was what Paul in the Bible was referring to when he said to be thankful in all things. All experiences can be seen as for the good of us if we only look at them with new eyes and learn to respond instead of react.
My mother told us when we were very young to count to ten before responding when something makes you mad. Not bad advice, really, but even better is to look for the benefit in all events and then it becomes much easier to be thankful in all things. Once we start looking at every situation as a benefit regardless of how it causes us to feel at the moment, progress is made certain. I absolutely believe there is a benefit to me in every event or situation. Indeed, I now think that the things that tick me off have even more benefit once I shake that off and start looking.
This is how we can practice thanksgiving every day.
I Think I'll Change My Judgement From Good And Bad To Good And Gooder.
Spread Some Joy Today--When you don't react the way people expect you to react, it amazes them. I've experimented with that for a long time and it is absolutely true. Be an outcast. It's a heck of a lot more fun.