“It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” ~ David Steindl-Rast
I once read somewhere that if gratitude was available in pill form, it would be top seller! Indeed there’s nothing like a healthy dose of gratitude for putting you in a good mood, increasing your energy, and offering you feelings of joy and compassion, and with no nasty side effects!
Gratitude can transform your life! Personally, when I dwell on all that I am thankful for, it helps me to feel more happy and calm. And when I express my thanks to others, it cultivates greater intimacy in my relationships. For me, the simple act of being grateful makes a huge difference in my life for these reasons:
Gratitude reminds me of the positives in my life
It makes me look for the things that went right in my day, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, and helps you to appreciate the people that cross my path.
Gratitude turns the bad into good
It helps me find the silver linings when I’m having a rough day, or when tragedy strikes. It also help me to be a person who can learn from their mistakes or find the deeper meaning when things go wrong.
Gratitude reminds me of what really matters
It helps me to stop fretting over the trivial things and focus on the big picture, and to direct my energy towards what really matters instead of wasting it on minutiae.
Reminds me to show appreciation to others
People like being appreciated for who they are and what they do. Doing so costs me nothing, but it can make a huge difference in the other person’s day! This too makes me happy!
How To Be Grateful
Making a habit of gratitude is simple and costs you very little, yet it has the power to transform you life! If would like to make a practice of gratitude, here are my suggestions:
Make an act of gratitude one of the first things you do when you wake up each morning. All it needs is a few minutes to think about three to five things you are grateful for. If it helps you to focus, you can write these things down in a notebook or journal, but there is no need. Starting your day this way can set the tone for the entire day!
Acknowledge other people’s acts of kindness or helpfulness, however small it may seem, by saying thank you. Showing your appreciation communicates to the other person that you are paying attention to them rather than taking them for granted. It is amazing what a boost it can give them!
Be thankful for the bad things in your life
Yes, this seems rather counterintuitive but it really works! Indeed, there is always more than one way to look at something: it’s all a matter of perspective! When you are struggling or life is simply getting you down, being grateful for the negative things can help you find the blessing in disguise, reminding you that good can be found in just about everything. Your problems can be turned into opportunities for growth and resilience!
Start a gratitude journal
As the day draws to a close, set aside time every evening to reflect upon all the things you are grateful for by writing them down in a journal. Here, you can express your thanks for anything that crosses your mind! Be thankful for the good things (and the bad) that happened during your day, for the people you love, the people that support you, the people that challenge you! Be thankful for your health, your possessions, your home, nothing is off limits! Making this a part of your evening ritual, you’ll find that journaling this way will help you feel more relaxed and can actually help you to sleep more soundly!
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ~ Melody Beattie