Gratitude: How to Practice Thankfulness

Individuals who have developed a strong sense of gratitude for what they have in life are not necessarily the richest or the most successful people. They simply have learned to recognize and appreciate the good side of everything that they have in life even if others see their life as mediocre or insufficient.

Studies show that people who count their blessings are far healthier and more contented than people who see the glass as “half empty”. So if you want to be part of that group of people who see the glass as “half full”, then start following these simple but beautiful tips on how to practice thankfulness and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

1. Learn to Relax and Let Go

Have you ever wanted something like a promotion or an important title only to see it go to someone else? How long do you cling on to that frustration? While it’s normal to feel upset, you can’t continue to grieve – you have to move on. Choosing to dwell on your misery goes against the practices of thankfulness. Go dust the dirt off, wipe your tears and rework your plans. Then remind yourself of the things you have – you still have a good job, you have other great projects lined up, and you have a wonderful family who greets you each time you get back from work. When you forget your loss and focus on what matters, it’s easier to develop an attitude of gratitude.

2. Live One Day at a Time

Some people worry too much about the future – if they would have enough money for their kids’ college education, if they would ever get to see Europe before they die, and the like. Fretting over things that haven’t happened yet is one way to destroy any shred of thankfulness within you, so stop being a worrywart and take things one day at a time. Work on your goals slowly but surely and applaud yourself for even the tiniest progress made.

3. Appreciate the Smallest Details

Leading such busy lives can make us overlook the beautiful little things that surround us. The lone flower growing out of your neglected garden. Your pet kitten chasing a tiny insect. The ducks that magically appeared in the community park pond after several months of absence. If you take the time to notice such loveliness, you will feel a surge of thankfulness within you and a deep appreciation for the small things that are capable of making you smile. So to develop an attitude of gratitude, take time out of your crazy schedule to stop and smell the roses.

4. Savor Everything You Do

Here’s an example: when you take your lunch, do you gulp it down and rush back to your office desk, or do you take your time to enjoy the flavor of your roast beef sandwich? People who do the latter are more prone to thankfulness because they enjoyed a satisfying and relaxing lunch. Conversely, it’s hard to be appreciative of your lunch break when you zipped through it like a hurricane rushing to destroy a town. So if you want to have that attitude of gratitude, learn to savor the things you do when you have quality time for yourself – whether it’s an office break or Sunday brunch with loved ones or a relaxing drink on your front porch by your lonesome. Savor the moment. Walk, don’t sprint, through life!

5. Count Your Blessings

Keeping a journal of your blessings is a wonderful act of thankfulness and a surefire way of cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Write down a newly received blessing, no matter how small it seems. For instance, the neighbor who hardly mingles with the community suddenly sends you a jar of homemade preserves. That’s something to be thankful for. Another example would be easily flagging down a taxi during the height of rush hour. That would be considered a modern day miracle! Recording such incidents on paper has a way of carving gratitude into you, so make it a regular habit.

Developing an appreciation for what you have is key to living a life of peace and abundance. When you have that attitude of gratitude down pat, you will attract more good things in your life, such as career advancement and happy and stable relationships with people you care about. So make it a habit to begin and end each day with a hearty “thank you!” and the universe will acknowledge the good person that you are by rewarding you with greater opportunities.

Article by Cheryl A Story

Cultivate an attitude of thankfulness today to attract more positive things in your life and achieve the peace-filled and joyous dream life you’ve always wanted.

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