“Being Grateful” is an easily exercised gesture that we mostly forget what it means. We are grateful when someone makes us a cup of tea but are we grateful when we breathe clean air? We are on top of gratitude only when a long-awaited moment arrives in our lives.
We hear every other day to be grateful in different contexts but do not often understand what it means. Learning to live with gratitude is a habit and worth practicing. It allows us to highlight those basic things we may have overlooked or taken for granted that are powerful enough to lift you out on a gloomy day.
Even when you feel you have nothing in life, there will be something near you or something you have experienced that you can push your gratitude towards. It may seem small and insignificant, but it is worth it. It could just be like the seed that eventually becomes a mighty tree.
In this article
Why should I be grateful?
It’s a habit to focus on what you have and appreciate your blessings. It helps you to:
- Makes you happier. Imagine focusing on two negatives that didn’t go well in your life versus ten blessings that are constantly with you, which 50% of the people on this earth are already praying for.
- Enhance your positive emotions. Makes you happy, calm, cheery, and joyful. Why stress over something you don’t have and neglect something you already have?
- Reduce stress levels. Why stress over something you don’t have and always work to achieve it?
- Enhances your decision-making. This is very important because while you focus on things you have, it gives ample time for you to strategize and work over things on your bucket list.
“I have a lot to be thankful for. I am healthy, happy and I am loved.”Reba McEntire
Be nice to yourself
It all starts with gratitude for our bodies, something we had very little of growing up. Now we are in awe of the human body, which turned out to be the incredible machine unrivaled by any invention. It can self-heal, grow, change, move and create, but we have to love it first. Think great thoughts about the amazing body you have, dream of what it can do, and thank it for all it has given.
It may seem slightly odd to talk to yourself in the mirror each day but, if it helps, WHY NOT? Try giving yourself a pep talk every day to boost your confidence and make you stop and realize how brilliant you are.
Hence be grateful for your body for:
- The energy granted you and the places it got you to
- Stretching and expanding, and changing your perspective of what you are capable of
- Working together in all the biggest game-changing moments in all your relationships
- Taking you to all adventures of life, including mountains, city tours, a dance floor where you swung without care or concern
- Delicious food that it makes you enjoy which gets converted to energy to generate numerous ideas for living reality
- Withstanding heartaches, sorrow, over-excitement and for overcoming illness and exhaustion
Be thankful to your family
Give thanks to the gang you are born in, whether your blood family or a tribe you have chosen to be a part of. Be grateful for the ones that make you laugh, the ones that challenge you the most, and the power your combined love can offer.
It’s important to understand that love cements all the foundations no matter what is going in your family. Each member in your family was born from love and had it pumping through their being, whether they show it or not. Lean into that love, encourage that love, and give it right back.
We all experience tough moments with family members sometimes. With honest communication and positive approaches to potential conflict situations, peace and love are found within families.
You have to be grateful for everything they have done for you and acknowledge the happiness their support can bring.
“Family is a unique gift that needs to be appreciated and treasured, even when they’re driving you crazy. As much as they make you mad, interrupt you, annoy you, curse at you, try to control you, these are the people who know you the best and who love you.”Jenna Morasca
Be grateful when feeling lucky
When we feel blue or even worse, our primary focus is on what we lack in our lives. We lose sight of the precious and dear things right in front of us and have a pin-sharp focus on what we don’t have.
Practicing gratitude enables you to look through a magnifying glass at the things you know you feel lucky and happy to have. Pulling out of focus the ‘lacking’ and ‘want’ and boosting the comfort and contentment in your current life.
The wheels of our economy are spun by the feeling that we don’t quite have enough. However, aren’t you lucky for:
- That one super-shiny pair of life-changing loafers might be the thing that makes you feel complete.
- The new turbocharged, sexy sports car might fill the void you feel.
- That new cozy couch could just set your front room off perfectly and make you feel more in control of life.
At times, buying into the fantasy of having stuff and needing stuff helps us avoid looking at what is going on in our lives on a deeper level. Being grateful for what we already have – material or otherwise is always a good starting point to feel lucky.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”Epicurus
Be grateful for the choices you have
Being free to make choices and have multiple options is what you should be thankful for. It makes your life exciting. We can change our lives, head off in a new direction, and change our state of mind if we wish. A millisecond is all it takes.
A fraction of time where you can stop and make a choice, commit to it, and feel at peace with it. If we even start to be aware of this privilege, it’s a huge game-changer of your perspective. For example, you can:
- Order food whenever and however you want to. You are hungry, have something of your choice. You are bored, order something that you are craving. If you have nothing to do, cook something for yourself and others.
- Wear different colours and carry different apparel, may it be trendy, casual, comfy, formal, or work
- Purchase more than half of the items in a nearby grocery store because you can afford
“If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.”Frank A. Clark
Be grateful for little things
We don’t have to be grateful for the momentous occasions; either the little things deserve a shower of gratitude, too. This is how we can get gratitude in our lives every single day. And if we can feel true thanks for the stuff we normally overlook, it can make us much more aware of what’s really going on, too.
For instance, right now, you might probably be sitting in your kitchen on a bar stool reading this on your laptop. That could be just one sentence about what is going on for you right now. But if you use gratitude to work its magic, you can actually:
- Start to feel the night-time summer breeze wafting through the nearby window
- Hear the call of crows on the wall nearby
- Feel satisfied with the delicious cup of tea you just drank
- Smell the soft dreamy scent and the peaceful calm under the fairy lights and candles in your room next to your bed
Appreciating the little things in your life every day takes the focus away from negatives that could make an appearance in your script by covering everything else with gratitude.
We are also blessed with numerous things that we never asked for and that go unnoticed until somebody reminds us. Such little things include constant access to the internet with several backup options, Unlimited clean drinking water, and easy access to medical facilities.
“When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.”Tecumseh
Be grateful for the Nature around you
Nature is a good, instant way to throw a few thanks around. Nature is majestic artwork that is constantly changing and surprising us. There is always something new to see and appreciate in nature, even if you are not quite ready to put that focus on your personal life just yet.
Just walk out of your front door and take a stroll for five minutes. Take a few deep breaths and look at the sky around you while opening your ears to the nearby sounds. You might hear some birds, see a waft of pink in the evening sky or feel some light rain on your eyelids: all tiny magical wonders to be grateful for.
Start small by making those tiny things count and work your way up to what is going on inside further down the line. There will be a little magic out there somewhere if you look hard enough.
“The world has enough beautiful mountains and meadows, spectacular skies and serene lakes. It has enough lush forests, flowered fields, and sandy beaches. It has plenty of stars and the promise of a new sunrise and sunset every day. What the world needs more of is people to appreciate and enjoy it.”Micheal Josephson
Be thankful for the Job you do
You, as an individual, know you are worth more than anybody right now. Hence only you can appreciate your blessings, even if it’s related to your work. It’s time that you value your work-life because, in retrospect, this earning facilitates all your uncounted needs and wants.
Take a moment to pause and focus on all the good things that happen at your work. Your experience so far, colleagues cheer you up every day, and clean workspace located in the renowned city. These things lose focus; instead, we are only observant of work stress or our boss’s mood.
If you are grateful for the job that you currently have, it will automatically do the following:
- Reduce stress at work
- Better work relationships
- Feel happier and cheery
- Experience success at the job
- Optimistic about future
All you have to do is to shift your perspective to positive things. You may even start preparing yourself a list of things to be grateful for at work. Surely, at least ten things will come right away. Read them again and consider how life at work would be without every item on the list.
You may write thank you note to anyone relevant to that list. It will not only surprise them; rather, they will also be grateful to you for being a support to them. On the way back home, always focus on the positive experience each day will bring ,adding to your success.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”Oprah Winfrey
Now and then, make your gratitude list. Putting pen and paper will help focus on the “thanks” you want to give even more. This is one really easy way to get gratitude embedded into your thinking so you can use it as a handy tool whenever needed. Even if nothing particularly eventful happened in a day, look for the magic that was going on around you.
Write down the list of things that made you feel alive or happy for that brief moment. These can be big and wonderful ‘THANK YOUS’ for the extraordinary, or they can be teeny tiny snippets that felt significant to you.