Gratitude is about being aware of and appreciating all the good in your life. It’s about focusing on the things you already have instead of what you lack. It’s about appreciating all the opportunities and beauty that surrounds you instead of wishing and hoping for things you believe will make you happy.
Expressing gratitude does wonders for us mentally and physically. In a Harvard research study, it proved that people who express gratitude as daily habit are happier.
The research noted, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.”
Think of gratitude as an endless cycle of warm, fuzzy feelings. If you receive something from someone else, you want to express your thanks. When you express your thanks, they feel appreciated. When they feel appreciated, they what to do more for you.
It’s like sending never-ending thank yous to each other. For example, my friend surprised me with a fun T-shirt the other day out of the blue. Then I thanked her with fresh flowers. Then she sent a sweet email. Then I sent a sweet one back.
Being grateful creates a ripple of good feelings.
This is how it is in life. The more we are thankful for what we have, the more good will come our way. The more we complain, the more negativity will come our way. That’s why it’s so important to express our gratitude when we start to feel frustrated, sad, overwhelmed and defeated.
When we are feeling the least grateful, that’s when we need to express it the most. Encountering challenges and setbacks gives us an opportunity to count our blessings rather than our problems.
For example, imagine you’re driving down the road when all of a sudden you come to a screeching halt. You look in the distance and see red and blue lights flashing. There’s an accident. Instead of being annoyed and in a panic about being late, be grateful you were not in the accident.
Now that you have some time in your car, be grateful you can listen to that inspiring podcast. Be grateful you get to listen to the podcast because it boosts your mood. Now you can show up energized and with a clear mind.
Make gratitude a daily habit. It’s important to consistently make a list of things you are grateful for. Your list of gratitude doesn’t have to be big things. It can be small moments throughout the day. It can be holding a cup of coffee and feeling its warmth, hearing a song that makes you want to boogie or seeing a breathtaking sunrise with mesmerizing pink and orange hues.
It can be basic needs such as the clothes on your back, a roof over your head or the clean water you drink. It’s about not taking anything for granted and be grateful for everything.
We are all busy. We have to choose to make gratitude part of our daily routine. We have to decide to go through our day looking for things to be grateful for. When you are constantly being grateful for everything around you, it makes it a lot easier to believe that there are more wonderful things just around the corner.
Oprah has shared that she believes her success was born out of having a grateful heart. Oprah is quoted as saying, “The more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased. That’s because – for sure – what you focus on expands. When you focus on the goodness in life, you create more of it.”
Gratitude really kicks into high gear when you are grateful for that which you cannot see. When you mix gratitude with faith, crazy, amazing things can happen!
A simple way I’ve seen this manifest in my life is by being grateful for beautiful weather.
One example from my life is when I was planning an Easter egg hunt for our neighborhood. We woke up to pouring rain. A bunch of people phoned and asked if it was going to be cancelled.
I said, “No. The rain will pass. The Easter egg hunt is still on!” I could hear the disbelief in their voices and imagined the eye rolls. It didn’t matter it how hard it was raining, I was grateful before it had stopped raining and had an expectancy for lovely weather. The clouds would pass and the sun would shine.
I was grateful for this beautiful weather even when I couldn’t see it. Low and behold, it turned out to be a gorgeous morning and all the kids hopped around collecting colorful eggs.
This consistently happens with my gratitude towards the weather. I have so many stories like this one. Repeatedly, I am amazed and overflowing with happiness every time this happens. Gratitude plus faith leads to magical miracles.
If you want the magic of miracles, you have to believe and be grateful that they exist and are waiting for you.
This is not just thinking positively. When you live day-to-day in a state of gratitude, this will cause a shift in how you show up in life. The more you live in a state of gratitude and thanks, the more you will be surrounded with blessings!
I encourage you to spend a few minutes each day appreciating all of life’s little blessings. Be filled with a deep appreciation for what you do have at this very moment, right now, rather than living in a state of lack and scarcity.
As you go through each day, mentally express your gratitude and if you are feeling truly inspired, grab a journal and write down five things you are grateful for each day.
Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to give thanks and be grateful. Be grateful every day of the year!