Practicing Gratitude

gratitude-rainbowspiral1Gratitude is a hot topic these days as multiple studies connect gratitude to happiness. Our consumer culture tries to deceive us into believing that more “stuff” means more happiness, but the truth is that gratitude is rooted in what’s within us. Gratitude is also a habit that is cultivated daily. Here are seven practices to consider:

Keep a gratitude journal. Jot down what you’re grateful for at the end of each day. Doing this consistently changes your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right in life.

Express your gratitude. Don’t just feel grateful; give it voice. Tell the people you love that you’re grateful for them. If you can’t tell them face to face then send a text, write a note or pick up the phone. Do it now.

Live in the moment. Let go of the past. Don’t place such high expectations on the future. Practice being fully present right now, right in this moment.

Meditate. Take time each day to be still and quiet. Listen for the quiet voice of the Spirit. Let your busy thoughts drift off like leaves on a stream. Meditation creates inner space for deeper gratitude.

Focus on enough. The “enoughness” of God is available to us only in this moment. That’s why we’ve been taught to ask for “daily bread” and not a pantry full. Get into the habit of asking yourself the question, “Do I have what I need for this moment?” You’ll quickly discover that you usually do.

Surround yourself with positive people. The company you keep matters. We’re called to love all people but that doesn’t mean you have to hang out with negative, toxic people.

Live generously. I can’t explain it but it’s been my experience that the more you give the more you have. A tight fist cannot receive, but an open hand can.

Want more happiness? Practice more gratitude! Pick one of the above and put it into practice starting today.

What practices of gratitude have blessed your life? Expand the list by sharing your experiences in the comment section.

 

 

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