Embracing an attitude of gratitude is critical to our happiness and well-being. When we think of being grateful, we often think of the things that are going well in our lives, all the good stuff. That’s a great place to start. Consider what you’ve been blessed with today, just since you woke up; a loving God who created you, people who love you, a comfortable bed, shelter, clean water, electricity, health and the list goes on.
Adopting this mindset also means that we give thanks in all circumstances, not just when things are going well. This is Biblical; Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in all circumstances.” He didn’t tell us to give thanks only when things go our way, or according to our plan, or just when we’re having a good day. Yet, isn’t that what we are tempted to do?
An attitude of gratitude will serve you well physically and emotionally, too. Numerous studies done on gratitude have revealed that gratitude can:
- help manage stress
- boost immunity
- directly impact our happiness
- lessen the severity of anxiety and depression
Most people think in direct opposition to the mindsets that lead to happiness and success. First, there’s the entitlement mentality. We see this at work when an inexperienced employee expects to be promoted overnight. We see this at home with our kids, who often think they are entitled to the latest and greatest of everything.
Then there is the “I’ll be happy when …” mentality. When we have this mindset, we can never be happy, peaceful, or content. It’s always elusive. What if we lived fully in the present and learned how to be happy now? Gratitude can help us get to a better state.
Here are 3 practical ways to incorporate gratitude into your day:
- Start a gratitude journal. Writing down what you are grateful for on a regular basis will bring you peace and help you focus on the good.
- Physical reminders: Surround yourself with note cards that say “Attitude of Gratitude.” Wear a band on your wrist, place an object in your pocket, whatever it takes to serve as a reminder to be grateful.
- Put a recurring reminder on your phone or computer. For a few years, while I was learning to be more grateful, I had a calendar prompt pop up every day to remind me to focus on gratitude.
Embracing this mindset takes intention and action; do something to lean into this mindset. Give thanks and choose happiness.
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
always giving thanks to God the Father
for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.