The Power of Gratitude
“The most powerful weapon against your daily battles is finding the courage to be grateful anyway.”– Unknown
DEFINITION OF GRATITUDE: The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Gratitude is a popular topic. Yet, for some reason, most of us still don’t practice it. We acknowledge the benefits and understand its importance. We nod our heads in agreement when someone shares a cool quote about gratitude. But most of us still don’t practice it, and I think that’s why we feel like we struggle more than other people.
One of my theories is that we don’t actually believe in practicing gratitude. Maybe we don’t think it will work because it seems too easy and too good to be true. Maybe it feels cheesy to be practical about it. Or maybe we just don’t know the power of gratitude until we try it.
When it comes to our happiness, practicing gratitude is worth a shot. Turning gratitude into a habit requires some work at first, but once it’s cultivated, it simply becomes a part of us. When we practice gratitude, we set ourselves up to become grateful people.
True gratitude goes beyond occasional feelings of thankfulness. It’s also not just about habitually writing in gratitude journals. True gratitude flows out of us when we make it an intentional part of our lives and let it transform our inner beings and influence those around us. The power of gratitude is that when we practice it consistently, it actually affects and transforms our character.
The importance of practicing gratitude is that it sets us up to become grateful people. If we want to be satisfied, content, and happy it’s important to start practicing gratitude. The “practicing” part is so that gratitude becomes part of us in the long run.
So yes, it might feel too easy or cheesy to practice gratitude in a practical way. But once you intentionally establish the gratitude habit and make it practical for yourself, it will absolutely affect your character.
Just like building any other habit, practicing gratitude takes time, effort, patience, and commitment. Here’s what I recommend:
- Pick one of the four ways listed below to start practicing gratitude. Only choose one for now because the goal is to make it a habit. You don’t want to get jumbled up or overwhelmed by trying to achieve each one.
- Choose a specific time of day that works with your schedule and has zero to minimal interruptions.
- Commit to practicing gratitude for five to ten minutes during your chosen time and stay consistent every day.
- Set a daily reminder to help you stay consistent and committed.
- Determine the timeframe for your goal. Small goals help us achieve bigger goals. Challenge yourself to practice gratitude for at least three weeks. Once you reach your goal, set aside time to reflect and reassess your progress.
4 Practical Ways to Practice Gratitude
Gratitude Journal: Start a journal where you can write about what you’re grateful for.
Gratitude Notes: Write gratitude notes to yourself and others. You can put these in a jar and review them at the end of each week.
Gratitude Mindfulness: Spend time thinking and meditating about what and who you’re grateful for.
Gratitude Affirmations: Create a list of two or three things you’re grateful for and say these out loud to yourself or someone else.
Practicing gratitude is one of the simplest ways to improve satisfaction, happiness, and your overall health. Your overall well-being improves when you cultivate gratitude and make it part of your lifestyle and character. Because that’s what happens, it becomes a quality in your character!