Do you want to know how to be more grateful i.e be thankful and practice gratitude?
Do you find yourself complaining about negative situations and circumstances daily in your life?
Are you seeking to be a better person by learning how to be more grateful?
Learning how to be more grateful can benefit you in many ways than you ever imagined.
In this blog post, we’ll explore;
- What it means to be grateful
- Proven benefits of practicing gratitude
- Effective tips that can teach you how to be more grateful: be thankful and practice gratitude.
Hence, read on to find out how to practice gratitude and be more grateful.
How To Be More Grateful: Be Thankful And Practice Gratitude
What does it mean to be grateful?
To most people, gratitude means being thankful.
It means being appreciative of a good deed done or a kind gesture from someone towards you.
Before we discuss how to be more grateful, be thankful, and practice gratitude, we need to understand gratitude is all about.
Hence, let’s consider what it means to be grateful.
What It Means To Be Grateful
Gratitude transcends beyond being thankful for a gift or an act of kindness from someone.
It has more to do with you than it does for the other person.
Furthermore, gratitude isn’t about faking happiness.
It isn’t about pretending to yourself that you’re happy when in the real sense you’re not.
It’s not about creating a fake mental picture in your head of things that are non-existent in your life.
Gratitude also isn’t about ignoring the difficulties or challenges in your business, work, and life generally.
Rather, it is about viewing and approaching those difficulties from a positive perspective.
It is also about having a deep sense of fulfillment that comes from the heart.
Here’s a quick definition of gratitude to help you better understand what it is.
Gratitude is the quality or feeling of being thankful and showing appreciation to someone for something he/she has done for you.
According to Robert Emmons, a researcher and an authority in the concept of gratitude;
“Gratitude is a positive emotional response to a gift”
Due to his research, he conceptualized gratitude ” as a virtue, moral sentiment, motive, coping response, skill, and attitude”.
Now you know why gratitude is more than just a feeling of appreciation or thankfulness.
It is a powerful emotion that affects the overall quality of life.
Proven Benefits Of Practicing Gratitude
There are a lot of ways practicing gratitude can be beneficial to you.
Even more, there’s a lot of research on how gratitude can improve the quality of life.
Researchers like, Dr. Robert A Emmons, Dr. Michael E. McCullough, and other curious scientists have investigated the impact of gratitude in the lives of people.
Here are some of the important benefits of practicing gratitude that they’ve discovered.
Gratitude Improves Your Health
Feeling thankful has been proven to improve one’s health directly and indirectly.
Gratitude helps to improve your physical and psychological health.
Firstly, research suggests that people who practice gratitude daily are more likely to engage in more healthy habits.
They engage in healthy habits like eating good food, exercising, avoiding health-threatening practices.
This is because practicing gratitude gives them a more positive disposition towards life generally.
Consequently, making them engage in positive activities generally.
Gratitude also improves your psychological health.
People who practice gratitude have been proven to show more positive emotions.
Thereby, relieving them of negative feelings such as envy, hatred, bitterness, anxiety, depression among others.
Consequently, improving their emotional, mental wellbeing and making them happier individuals overall.
Practicing Gratitude Improves Mental Strength And Performance Level
Another important benefit of practicing gratitude is, improving your performance level as an individual.
We stated that gratitude helps to improve physical and mental health.
These are variables that directly and indirectly affect the performance of an individual.
People who practice gratitude are more motivated and committed to working on their goals than people who do not.
Even more, people who practice gratitude can build resilience.
Thereby, enhancing their ability to bounce back from challenges and bitter experiences of life.
According to Emmons, gratitude is an essential part of the process of healing from trauma and other negative experiences of life.
Overall, practicing gratitude gives you a positive mental attitude that keeps you inspired, motivated, and committed as you go through life.
Consequently, making you productive and efficient in what you do.
Practicing Gratitude Improves Your Personality
Another thing practicing gratitude does for you is, it makes you a better person overall.
By practicing gratitude, you become a better person capable of building good interpersonal and social relationships.
Practicing gratitude makes you a polite individual and enhances empathy.
It also makes you a positive-minded and generally joyful person that people would want to be with.
Thereby helping you develop a likable personality.
Showing gratitude also strengthens your relationship with the people around you.
Thereby, helping you build lasting interpersonal and social relationships.
Conclusively, gratitude improves your overall wellbeing, gives you an optimistic view of life, and helps you connect more with people around you.
Given this, it can be said that gratitude plays an important part in achieving success and fulfillment in every area of life.
Hence, the need to know how to practice gratitude.
Now you know what gratitude is all about and it’s benefits.
Let’s move on to discover how to be thankful and practice gratitude.
Tips On How To Be More Grateful: Be Thankful And Practice Gratitude
It’s easy for most people to easily say thank you or express gratitude for a favor done to them.
However, it’s quite difficult for most people to live a life of daily gratitude.
This is not just being appreciative when you receive a favor or gift from someone.
It’s about being in a state of mind of being thankful for every and anything about your life even in negative circumstances.
This might be a very difficult habit to develop.
Nevertheless, there are simple things you can do that can help you appreciate life better.
Thus, helping you to be thankful and practice gratitude.
Mindfulness is all about being alive in the present moment.
More so, it is about being aware or conscious of your immediate environment.
A lot of times our minds are occupied with so many troubling thoughts all day.
A normal individual struggles daily with thoughts about the past and the future.
Only very few people, take time out to reflect on the present moment and appreciate the beauty of a new day.
Mindfulness is an important part of gratitude.
According to Emmons, there are two key components to gratitude;
- the affirmation of goodness
- recognizing the source of goodness
This means that for you to practice gratitude you need to acknowledge the existence of goodness around you.
You also need to recognize the source of goodness to be able to truly express gratitude.
So, practice gratitude you need to be mindful (be in the present moment and acknowledge the goodness around you).
Thus, helping you to be more grateful about life generally.
2Form A Praying Habit
People who have a deep sense of religion or belief in a supreme being can learn to be more grateful through prayers.
Praying is the art of communicating with a supreme/supernatural being.
Furthermore, when people pray, they get into high spirits and a spiritual mindset.
This spiritual mindset makes them recognize the source of goodness in their lives to be something outside of themselves ( a higher power).
Hence, they feel the need to give thanks or render appreciation to the supreme being for the good things in their lives.
So, to learn how to be more grateful, consider forming the habit of praying.
It doesn’t have to be lengthy prayers.
Just a simple and short prayer of gratitude for 5 to 7 minutes daily can help develop the habit of gratitude.
Consequently, helping you to be thankful and practice gratitude.
3Develop A Positive Mindset
Another important part of practicing gratitude is having a positive mindset.
This is because gratitude involves focusing on the good moments in your life.
It also involves focusing on the silver lining in situations especially negative moments in your life.
You can’t effectively do this if you have a negative mindset.
Hence the need for you to develop a positive mindset.
A positive mindset is having the mindset to think good or positive things in any given situation.
A lot of times in our lives we encounter terrible situations that fill our minds with all sorts of negative emotions.
With these negative emotions running through our minds, it can be difficult to express gratitude.
However, by developing a positive mindset you’ll be able to counter negative emotions and maintain a positive outlook on life.
You’ll be able to appreciate the good moments in your life and be hopeful for better moments to come even in negative circumstances.
Consequently, helping you to be always thankful and practice gratitude.
One thing that could make it difficult for you to practice gratitude is self-comparison.
Self-comparison is comparing yourself to other people.
A lot of people are in the habit of comparing themselves to other people.
They compare their abilities and accomplishment to that of other people.
This is a toxic habit that not only leads to a lack of self-esteem and confidence.
It also makes it difficult for people to recognize the good things in their lives.
Thus, making it difficult for them to practice gratitude and be happy about their lives.
If you want to become more grateful and learn to appreciate the good things in your life so you can be happy, you need to stop self-comparison.
You need to learn to love yourself for who you are and be satisfied with the things you have in your life.
This is not about being complacent.
It is about achieving self-satisfaction and being open to opportunities for growth and development in life.
Thus helping you to be happy and be more thankful for life generally.
Apart from these things, there are other practical things that you could do to help you become more grateful.
They are referred to as gratitude exercises.
Gratitude Exercises To Help You Practice Gratitude Daily
These are habits that can help you to be more grateful, be thankful, and practice gratitude.
Journaling (Writing Down In Your Journal)
This is an effective gratitude exercise that can help you to be more grateful, be thankful, and practice gratitude.
Journaling involves writing down things, memories you’re grateful for, and how they make you feel.
This is a simple gratitude exercise that can be done almost anywhere and anytime.
All you need to do this are your journal (diary) and a pen.
So to be more grateful, be thankful, and practice gratitude you need to develop the habit of journaling.
You could incorporate this into your daily, weekly, monthly routine as it may be convenient for you.
However, bear in mind that the more frequently you do it, the easier it is for the habit to stick.
Gratitude Reflection (Meditation)
Another simple exercise that could help you practice gratitude is meditation.
Meditation is the activity of engaging in mindful contemplation and/or reflection.
To do this simple exercise, you need to find a quiet and calm place and engage in self-reflection.
You need to be free from noise and distracting thoughts and focus all your attention on yourself.
When doing this, your thoughts should be about all the good moments in your life and how they made you happy.
By doing this, you’ll become more self-aware of the beautiful things you have in your life.
Thus making you feel happy and appreciative of those moments.
You can do this simple exercise daily.
Make it part of your routine to meditate for 10-15 minutes daily.
Consequently, helping you to be more grateful, be thankful, and practice gratitude.
This is another simple yet effective and fun to do exercise that can help you to be more grateful.
All you need is a nicely decorated jar and some writing materials.
To do this exercise you’ll need to make it a habit to write down at least three to five things you’re grateful for at the end of each day.
These things don’t have to be major milestones.
It could be things as little as a nice compliment you got from a colleague at the office.
It could also be what you had for lunch or whatever.
Whatever it is you’re grateful for at the end of each day, write them down and put them in your gratitude jar.
This way you’ll get used to being thankful for most things in your life.
Consequently, helping you to be more grateful, be thankful, and practice gratitude.
Practice Saying Thank You
Another simple exercise that can help you to be more grateful and doesn’t require much effort is saying the magic word.
As simple as the word may sound, not everyone is fond of saying it.
Most times we overlook little acts of kindness that require being grateful for.
For example, you walk into a mall and the security at the door opens the door for you, you see it as his/her duty and you don’t say thank you.
Paying attention to little acts of kindness around you and saying thank you to them is a great way to practice gratitude.
Hence, as you go about your day, ensure to be mindful of the little favor people do for you and thank them for it.
This would help you to be more grateful, be thankful, and practice gratitude.
That’s it on how to be thankful and practice gratitude.
Here’s a little something for you.
A Quick Gratitude Practice Exercise For You
Stop what you’re doing right now and take a quick moment to do this simple gratitude exercise.
Think of the current state of things in your life right now.
For example, you have a roof over your head.
You’re not outside on the streets begging for alms.
Even more, you’ve got clothes to wear.
They might not be designer wears, at least you aren’t walking about naked or with tattered clothes.
Also think of the fact that you were able to afford eating breakfast or lunch, or dinner.
Think of all the wonderful people in your life;
- Supportive friends
- Wonderful partner/spouse
- Loving family etc.
Take 10-15 minutes of your time right now to reflect on these things and take note of the positive emotions you feel as you think on them.
Take deep breaths as you reflect on these wonderful moments and appreciate the existence of each of these things in your life.
Now, that’s gratitude in practice.
Final Words On How To Be More Grateful: Be Thankful And Practice Gratitude
A final word to note as we wrap up this blog post.
Mastering the habit of being grateful takes time, consistent practice, and commitment.
Also, just like any other habit, you need to start small.
Hence, for these tips to be effective, you need to start small especially if you’re not used to practicing gratitude.
Start with small acts of gratitude like being thankful for a new day every morning or wonderful weather.
By doing this, you’ll become used to being grateful.
Consequently, helping practice gratitude and becoming more thankful as you progress in life.
Here’s to a better you.
Before you go, what are the things you are most grateful for in your life right now?
Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.