While we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it can be difficult to sustain. We are trained to notice what is broken or missing in our lives. For gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. That can take some time.
Can you see why practicing gratitude makes so much sense? When we practice giving thanks for all we have instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.
Think about gratitude as a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. Think about where you put your focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.
There are many things to be grateful for: the beauty of nature, legs that work, eyes that see, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh fruit and vegetables, clothes, the ability to read, flowers in the garden, our health, butterflies. What’s on your gratitude?
6 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude
• Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way. Even just writing down 3 wins and successes is fuelling your gratitude.
• Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
• Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.
• Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
• When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You will be amazed by how much better you feel.
• Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.
As you practice, an inner shift will begin to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfilment is gratitude at work. You will notice a change within you. Others will notice a change in you and they may even take on some of your positive and attitude of gratitude.
What are some of the the things you are grateful for? I'd be grateful (pardon the pun heheheheh!) to you for responding to this blog!
Much love and gratitude to you,
Ruth :) xx