Maintaining a grateful disposition improves virtually everything in our lives, including our health and wellbeing and our relationship with others. The power of being grateful is profound enough to be cited by people who prosper as a primary factor in their success.
In a Forbes article (Why Grateful People Always Succeed), Jennifer Cohen notes: “It is easy to be grateful when your career, mission, relationships and finances are all going exceptionally well. Yes, that is true but contrary to popular belief it is also easy to be grateful during a time of struggle or during a building phase of life where you are trying to improve in all sectors. In fact, gratitude is the key factor in achieving ultimate success and happiness.”
The practice of gratitude involves a voluntary thankfulness for our life and all that is in it. Gratitude is not passive. Instead, it is an active process which we consciously initiate that is not dependent on receiving anything beyond what we already have. There is an intellectual component to gratitude which is not based on emotion.
“Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.” — Oprah Winfrey
How To Practice Gratitude
Start with the basics.
1) How about giving thanks to walk another day upon this good Earth?
No matter what challenges we are facing, it is good to be alive.
2) Giving thanks for the food you eat is a productive place to start.
When giving thanks for food, consider all the plants and animals which gave their lives for that meal. You might also thank the people who grew, harvested, and distributed the food.
3) Cultivate gratitude for those closest to you in your life – your partner, your family, your co-workers, your neighbors, your friends – the people you have a responsibility for or have chosen to be with – is a powerful tonic for your well-being.
So often we find it easier to be nicer to those we do not know. Relationships are like mirrors and have much to teach us about ourselves. Benefit by honoring those close to you and being thankful for their presence as companions, as teachers, as awakeners.
4) How about giving thanks for your ancestors, and especially for those two persons whose union brought you into this world?
No matter what your current relationship is with your parents – whether they are still on this planet or not – consider their gift as the people who facilitated your birth for the great learning and teaching you are privileged to participate in.
Experiencing gratitude is something you can do because it is you who decides to be grateful.
For an inspirational up-lift to get you going watch the music video LIFE IS STILL GOOD! by Gideon Greer and pay close attention to the lyrics.
Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times
During times of crisis, we have the most to gain by a grateful perspective, says Robert Emmons, author of Gratitude Works!
“In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope. In other words, gratitude can help us cope with hard times.”
As it is cultivated, gratitude is a feeling which builds over time and creates positive momentum in our lives. To enjoy all the things life brings us without being defined or bound by them is liberating.
What are you grateful for? What are you glad about today? If you like, please feel share what you are grateful for on our blog post here, or on our Facebook page.
Jennifer Cohen. (2018) Why Grateful People Always Succeed [online]. Forbes.
Gideon Greer. Gratitude Song – LIFE IS STILL GOOD! YouTube channel.
Thank you to Gideon Greer for the use of this uplifting music video.
James K. Papp. (2016) Inquire Within A Guide to Living in Spirit. Planet Papp.
Robert Emmons. (2013) How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times [online]. Greater Good Magazine.
Photo credits: Kiy Turk. “Thankful and Blessed Autumn.” Priscilla Du Preez. “Give Thanks.” Unsplash.com.