Today, I want to share with you one of my favorite words and sentiments: gratitude. Too often, we take things for granted and gratitude is overlooked – causing us to miss out on one of the greatest feelings we can experience. What is gratitude anyway? Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. I love that definition because it expresses acknowledgment, communication, and doing onto others….
It can be so easy to lose sight of what we are grateful for in our hectic lives but it’s something that we need to not only realize, but communicate with others. I am sure that even if we don’t have the house we want, the dream job, haven’t met our dream guy / gal yet…whatever it may be, there is still so much to be are grateful for. Being grateful is the first side of the gratitude coin. I think you’d be amazed at how much you have to be grateful for if you took a few minutes every day just to think about it.
I think the best way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal. Every day, write down ten things you are grateful for. There is nothing too big or small to be grateful for. You can be grateful for the sun, for a smile, for someone holding the door for you…I recommend writing in your gratitude journal every morning and looking it over every night. If you have a partner, have him or her do this with you. Think about how powerful that is. What a great way to start and end your day and what a great thing to do with a partner! As you do this, be sure not to judge. Remember: there is nothing too big or small to be grateful for.
Now that we feel warm and fuzzy inside because of how much we have to be grateful for, we need to share our gratitude. You can do this in so many ways. You can show someone you are grateful with something so simple yet powerful like a smile or hug. Even a simple “thank you” can mean a lot. How does it feel when someone acknowledges something kind or thoughtful that you’ve done for them? It feels great, doesn’t it? So, showing gratitude will not only feel really good for you, it will be wonderful to the other person. That is the second side of the gratitude coin.
Last but not least is our opportunity to return kindness. I love doing things for others or paying them a compliment especially when when it’s true and I am not looking for anything in return. I think that random acts of kindness are so much more powerful than just going all out for a special occasion. Show someone you care by showing them empathy, sympathy, love, consideration, patience, encouragement, compassion…Tell the people you love that you love them. Give someone a pat of the back for a job well done. Tell them what in particular you think they did well. It will mean so much more.
So, what are you grateful for?
Here are some great quotes to help inspire you:
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” Thornton Wilder
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Epictetus
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” Maya Angelou