We all believe it is important to be grateful. We all have so much that we can say we are grateful for. But how often do we practice gratitude?
There are people in our lives who desperately need to hear that they are appreciated. But nobody would say that they are appreciated too much.
And we as humans have a need to express gratitude—to keep our minds from focusing too much on ourselves.
So how can we cultivate a practice of gratitude in our daily lives? Here are three steps to get you started.
1. Start your day with gratitude.
Begin every day with time with God. Read the Scriptures. Tell Him your concerns. But also tell Him what you are grateful for.
Even if you are going through a tough time right now, you will have a better mental outlook if you can find something to be grateful for. You will give your mind a rest if you focus on something more than your problems.
Gratitude has a way of changing your perspective. It makes you realize that things aren’t as bad as you think they are. And that God is watching over you.
2. Look for opportunities to express gratitude.
Let your time with God each morning put you in a grateful state of mind. Be intentional each day about how you can express gratitude.
When you talk with your family, tell them you thank God for them. And tell them why. Whether it’s because of their attitude, or their smile, or just because they are your family.
When you see your colleagues or customers, tell them you thank God for them. And tell them something specific you genuinely appreciate about them.
This practice might feel awkward at first. But if you stick with it, people will know that you mean it. And it will transform your relationship with them.
3. Cultivate a mindset of gratitude.
Train your mind daily to think about what you can be grateful for. Even when you face major challenges in your life, change your focus to cultivate a mindset of gratitude.
If you find yourself complaining, refocus your thinking. If you’re worried about something, change the channel. If you feel like having a pity party, cancel it.
If you make a habit of expressing gratitude to God and the people in your life, it will change your outlook. You will be a happier person. Things won’t get to you as easily. And you will enjoy life more.
You will find the people around you will want to be around you more. They will like how they feel when they are around you. Because they will know that you appreciate them. And it all starts with cultivating an attitude of gratitude.
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