By Karen Polich
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Study after study shows the benefits of living a life full of gratitude. We know it is good for our health and well-being, but how can we fill our hearts with gratitude? Here are three simple ways to bring more gratitude into your life.
- Prime your day. Establish each day with thankfulness. In the morning, don’t bemoan what has to be done or how long your list is. What are you thankful for? Talk to God about it. Begin the day with prayer rich in gratitude. While you may wish you had MORE, (more sleep, more time, more friends, more clients, more money, more health, more MORE) stop and let God know what you are grateful for. You might need to hear it too.
- Reframe. Having a bad day or worse yet, stuck in a bad season? When you find yourself in the middle of bad circumstances, shift your focus. Don’t get trapped in everything that is wrong. This goes for the pit of comparison too. Comparing ourselves to others leads to dissatisfaction and chips away at our joy.
- Write it down. If journaling is your thing, then have at it and start a daily gratitude journal. Not into journaling? Start a gratitude list. At the end of each day, list three things you are grateful for. It doesn’t even need to be complete sentences. Just get what you are thankful for onto paper. Ending our thoughts (and our prayers) on a positive note for the day will grow gratitude. The list becomes a powerful tool to revisit in the future.
Gratitude gives us the opportunity to notice how life overflows with God’s goodness. Gratitude plants the seeds for contentment and joy. It can lighten our load and put spring into our steps.