Gratitude. It’s such a rewarding and empowering feeling. If you take stock of your life and think about what you’re truly grateful for, it will put a smile on your face. That sort of positive mindset can do so much to improve your life. Though, it can be hard to focus on being positive when dealing with stressful situations in our day to day life; but it’s so important to take the time to remember what you’re thankful for.
If you look to scripture for inspiration, you’ll find that Ephesians 1:16 says it well, “Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.” That was Apostle Paul speaking to the church of Ephesus. He is saying that he will continue to pray for the followers of the church, as he is grateful for them. I think he’s also leading by example, telling others not to take the positive things in their life for granted. If you show others how to live a life full of thankfulness, they will take notice and follow suit. Apostle Paul knew how important and infectious gratitude was to his followers.
During the holidays, we tend to spend more time with family and are reminded of how much they mean to us. We reflect on who’s been in our lives and helped us through the tough times. When we focus on those positive forces in our lives, we feel good. We remind ourselves that someone loved us enough to help us through any problem or that trouble. It also helps to remember that people are grateful for you too. When you’re taking time to remember those who have brought joy to your life, don’t forget to remember how much joy you brought to others. Helping others, helps you too. It makes your day brighter and spreads joy.
I know it’s easy to say “Show gratitude everyday!” or “Practice thankfulness!” but how do we actually do that? One way to consistently practice gratitude is with a journal. Set aside time at least once a week (more often is great if you can) and sit down with your thoughts. Write down the positive things in your life and reflect on how it makes you feel. Once you’ve been doing that for a while, you can always go back to your journal and review the great things that have happened and what you’re grateful for. It’s a physical reminder for you to be thankful.
Another way to show thanks is to just tell that person. It sounds simple and obvious, but so many people forget to do it. We think, “Oh they know that I love them; why do I need to say it?” While that may be true, everyone likes to hear “I love you” or “I’m grateful for you” from someone they care about. You will be making their day and filling them with gratitude, for you. During the holidays, it’s important to remember to share and spread joy, and I think that starts with showing gratitude.
There are many ways to show thanks, how do you like to show gratitude?
Jessica Faylor is a freelance writer who lives California with her husband. She is expecting her first child in February, 2020.