How Do You Show Gratitude?
While it is easy to show gratitude when good things happen to us, being grateful is not the easiest thing to do when we are faced with life’s challenges. When our heart desires are granted or we get help from someone, appreciating that person comes easy.
Gratitude is a lifestyle, it is being thankful for receiving kindness, as well as an appreciation for owned possessions, acquired experiences and even a person’s current situation. Gratitude is also a state of mind. When you are grateful, you see life as beautiful and pay attention to its goodness.
Dr. Robert Emmons stated- in his book – Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier – the result of a scientific research on gratitude which he conducted with Michael McCullough. According to him, people who regularly show gratitude develop many benefits physically, psychologically and interpersonally. The key word to note here is “regularly”, when you are always grateful regardless of your situation, it becomes a lifestyle. Living becomes easier when you are grateful for life, the little things and even the sad moments.
Also, some clinical findings have shown that gratitude is often associated with feelings of well-being and happiness especially in humans. Physically, it can improve immune functions and lower blood pressure, it can also change a person’s mood and strengthen human relationships because someone who is always grateful and happy is a pleasant person to be around.
When you wake up each day and are thankful, you develop a positive mindset which prepares you to ace the day. Without gratitude, it will be difficult to feel fulfilled because the mind will be focused only on shortcomings and unmet needs which can cause depression and bitterness. When you feel sad, always try to think about the good things and people in your life, those good moments you’ve experienced no matter how small, and thank God for them. Being grateful doesn’t mean everything in your life is perfect, it means despite the shortcomings, you have chosen to be thankful. This means gratitude is a choice. It also reduces stress since instead of worrying about the future, your mind is focused on the abundance of pleasures in your life. Gratitude is the easiest way to overcome social, mental and emotional setbacks.
Most importantly, gratitude paves the way for better things. When you are grateful for the little things God has done for you, he will definitely be moved to do more. Gratitude can be shown by giving thanks to God, praising him and worshipping him. It can also be shown to humans in simple ways like calling or texting to thank them for receiving any form of kindness. Just like the story of ten lepers in the Bible who received their healing but didn’t go back to thank Jesus, except one of them, and because of that one person’s gratitude he alone received wholeness. The same way this works with God, is the same way it works with humans. Gratitude therefore equals blessings. It makes the presence of God dwell with you because God inhabits the praises of his people.
How to Make Gratitude a Lifestyle
Gratitude is necessary for healthy living. Since it is easier to be ungrateful as a result of our human nature which highlights the bad, being intentional about showing gratitude is important. Therefore, these five tips will help you live a life of gratitude.
- Surround Yourself With Only Positive people
Anyone can easily be influenced by the moodiness or ingratitude of a friend. So if you want to show more gratitude, be with like-minded people who exudes positive vibes not those who are always complaining about bad things going on in their lives or easily giving feelings of envy and resentment. Remember, iron sharpens iron.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal
Writing down at least five things that you are grateful for every day is a good way to show gratitude. Psychology has shown that writing your feelings on a sheet of paper is an easy way to lift your spirit. Journaling only positive feelings like being grateful for good health, the house you live in or your new job, makes you realize those things in your life you may have taken for granted.
- Write a Gratitude Letter
You can write a letter to your loved ones appreciating them for everything they’ve done for you. This makes you feel loved and relevant which are positive feelings associated with being grateful. It also makes the person feel loved which in turn makes you happy for brightening up their day.
- Watch Videos and Read Books that Motivate You
At times, it’s normal to feel unmotivated and down. When this happens don’t feed these emotions by dwelling on them and making them ruin your day, instead watch videos that lift your spirit and read books that remind you of life’s beauty and the importance of being grateful. What you feed your spirit and soul matters. Reading the Bible in times like this will also help.
- Show Kindness
When you are nice to others and show kindness, it also makes you happy. Making others feel good about themselves also shows that you feel good about yourself and you are grateful to be alive, since you cannot give what you don’t have. It’s important to act out your gratitude so that others can also feel appreciated. Giving sincere compliments, helping out with tasks, praying with others and buying them gifts are ways to show kindness.
In essence, being grateful is recognizing that someone has done something good for you and then acknowledging that as a result of that act, you have become better either financially, materially or circumstantially. Therefore, in order to show acceptable gratitude, there has to be complete humility.