This week I’m starting a new series to look at happiness, joy, gratitude, and thankfulness. As we’ve all been going through a very difficult year, I’ve found myself dealing with the feeling of sadness, and I simply need to take action. So to help myself and hopefully others too, I want to look at how we can focus on subjects like; thankfulness, joy and gratitude to recalibrate our lives, and live again with joy in our lives.
I’m also going to be looking at how “journaling” can help us to focus on what’s important, and affirm what we are learning, so If you’d like a free digital copy of my “Happiness Journal” that I’ve created to help us, as we go through this subject, you can get it from here.
Anytime you receive anything good, no matter how small, make a concerted effort to say, “Thank you,” to someone.
We tend to think about gratitude only when we receive big blessings, but if we really want to cultivate gratefulness in our lives, we must get in the habit of constantly saying, “Thank you.” If…
● Someone holds the door for you
● You see a beautiful sunrise
● You enjoy a good meal
● Someone gives you a hug
● You’re just having a good day
…say, “Thank you.”
This will help you be constantly grateful.
Instead of only being grateful when you receive big blessings, you’ll find yourself grateful for everything, which will improve your overall mood, which will then make you even more grateful.
Practice Finding Reasons to be Grateful
In even the most challenging situations, you can almost always find something to be grateful for.
This doesn’t mean that you ignore the situation and act like it isn’t hard. It simply means that you look for the good in each situation.
Whenever you’re facing a challenge, ask yourself these questions:
● What valuable lesson can I learn from this situation?
● What good thing can come out of this challenge?
● How can this difficulty actually make me a better person?
● In five years, how will I look back on this situation?
These questions can help you identify the good in each situation, including the most challenging ones.
Once you’ve identified something good, be thankful for it. Give thanks that it’s making you a better, stronger, more compassionate, more thoughtful, more resilient person. Be grateful that it’s stretching you to be your best possible self.
Melody Beattie says:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
While being grateful doesn’t necessarily make a bad situation good, it helps you come through the situation a stronger person than ever before. Gratefulness ensures that your best self always emerges from every situation.
Rabbi Harold Kushner puts it this way:
If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.
So when you find yourself backed up against the wall, concentrate on finding the good in that situation. This may take some effort, but it’s worth it.
You’ll find yourself being filled with gratitude, even in situations where most people would complain.
Practice Developing an Abundant Mindset
An abundance mindset believes that we live in an abundant universe and that there is more than enough for everyone. A scarcity mindset believes that there’s not enough to go around.
Those who live with a scarcity mindset feel like they need to hoard resources, while those who live with an abundance mindset can gratefully give and receive, knowing there’s enough for everyone.
The more you develop an abundance mindset, the more you’ll be able to cultivate gratitude. You don’t have to worry about having enough. You don’t have to fear running out.
You can simply receive all that God wants to give you and to receive this with gratefulness.
It’s hard to be grateful when you’re constantly living in fear that you’ll run out. It’s difficult to maintain a receptive, grateful mindset when you’re worried that resources will soon be scarce.
If you want to grow in gratefulness, work to develop a mindset of abundance.