It’s not about whether the glass is full or even half empty. Sometimes, the fact that you have a glass is enough – gratitude is so important. Gratitude is the act of being appreciative and thankful and having the capacity to return kindness to other people. We live in a capitalistic world that constantly tells us what we have is never enough; excess is encouraged, and we are made to feel guilty for the material things we do not have. Sometimes, we take for granted what we have and who we have but it is always important that we stop, breath and recognize our blessings.
While some professionals assert that being grateful does not help with anxiety and depression, many studies find that those who are constantly in a state of gratitude are happier than those who are not. Those who practice gratitude are often less depressed than others. I know firsthand the joy that I have as a result of practicing gratitude daily. Remembering God’s blessings to me especially in times of difficulty is a positively impacting practice that allows me to stay grounded.
My Gratitude Practices
Below are some ways I practice gratitude throughout my day.
1) When I wake up in the morning, I first thank Jesus Christ (God) for allowing me to see another day. Life is so precious - a gift and privilege from the creator and should be honored as such. I use my daily prayer time to also pray for others and thank God for other blessings.
2) I find that creating a gratitude list on paper is quite useful. I often make a mental list of all the blessings I am thankful for; the loved ones in my life, the friends who are there for me, shelter, food, and clothing.
3) I extend kindness to others. I find performing acts of kindness are so important. Not only do such acts of kindness benefit others but they also help you remember you have ability to foster positive change which is empowering. Kindness can come in the form of emotional support to others or simply helping them out.
4) I reframe negative thoughts that come to mind. These thoughts could be as simple as, “it’s terrible that it is raining outside.” I might reframe this thought/statement so that it sounds like this, “It’s raining outside and that is also a good thing – rain makes the flowers and plants grow.”
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