This is my last post for this series of keeping a gratitude journal for a month. This last post will share 13 ways to get your gratitude on. In researching this, I became more encouraged about continuing this practice. I will definitely revisit this topic.
1. Four songs about gratitude:
a. Give Thanks Lyrics and Youtube by Don Moen
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks unto the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son (repeat)
And now let the weak say, ‘I am strong’
Let the poor say, ‘I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us’ (repeat)
b. Thankful Lyrics and Youtube by Josh Groban Thankful. Just listening to his luscious voice makes me thankful.
c. Thank You Lyrics and Youtube by Dido
Sometimes life is just plain HARD. I need a friend or two to get through those hard days. Good friends remind me that life is not so bad after all.
d. Thank You, Lord Lyrics and Youtube by Shaggy. This would be my ring-tone if I had a cell phone. It is upbeat reggae-style.
2. Today, make it a goal to not compare or covet. Truly be grateful for what you have, go through, and are. Was it easy or difficult? What did you notice about yourself?
Gratitude is one of 37 spiritual practices. Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat say it is an “underlying structure that helps us construct and make sense out of our lives.” Regularly practicing gratitude will “enhance our satisfaction and balance/counter greed and entitlement.” They go on to say, “often instead of rejoicing in what we have, we greedily want something more, better, or different. We can’t be grateful because we are making comparisons and coveting other possibilities.”
3. Top 100 Thanksgiving Songs Suggestions post written by Scrapbooks Alive.
4. “I think it’s important to stress that gratitude is really a choice. It doesn’t depend upon circumstances or genetic wiring or something that we don’t have control over. It really becomes an attitude that we can choose that makes life better for ourselves and for other people. I think about it as the best approach to life… When things go well gratitude enables us to savor things going well. When things go poorly gratitude enables us to get over those situations and to realize they are temporary.”Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, is one of the foremost authorities on the topic of gratitude in North America.
5. Celebrate World Gratitude Day on September 21st.
6. What about tacking the 7 Days of Gratitude Challenge?
7. You could establish a Gratitude Day Tradition. Each Thanksgiving Day Derrick Carpenter seeks to “compile a list of one hundred things [he is] sincerely grateful for within the past year…. each list item [has to] be something personal.” If you are feeling rather thankless, why wait. Go ahead and compile that list now.
8. For you visual people, create a gratitude photoblog like this girl with a camera. I especially like February 2, 2008. She is grateful for good music. I listened to a lot of music today and so I concur.
9. “The Hebrew term for gratitude is hikarat hatov, which means, literally, “recognizing the good. Practicing gratitude means recognizing the good that is already yours…When you open up to the trait of gratitude, you see clearly and accurately how much good there is in your life. Gratitude affirms. Those things you are lacking are still there, and in reaching for gratitude no one is saying you ought to put on rose-colored glasses to obscure those shortcomings. But most of us tend to focus so heavily on the deficiencies in our lives that we barely perceive the good that counterbalances them.” (Dr. Alan Morinis)
10. Writing gratitude notes (aka thank you cards) is so much easier when I have all the supplies in one place: cards, pens, addresses and stamps. Whipping up and then filling this gratitude wrap is one great way to corral the necessities.
11. “Become grateful for the adventure that is life, including all of its twists and turns,” says Steve Pavlina. I don’t personally believe that being more grateful, or being grateful in a certain way will bring me more wealth or attract other good things. But I do believe that being grateful for the twists and turns of life shows that I acknowledge who is in control of my life (God). This is not a “oh, I’m thankful that the car was burglarized, the hamster died from heatstroke, and my mom has cancer.” Rather Pavlina describes that as “holistic gratitude because it is independent of situations and circumstances.” I agree. Again, I can be grateful for the good and the bad because I know that God is surrounding my circumstances with meaning and I trust that He is a loving, powerful God.
Pavlina says some of the twists and turns of life where we can show gratitude include:
time and space
your problems, challenges, and hardships
your foibles and mistakes
people who treat you unkindly or unfairly
your thoughts and emotions
your freedom of choice
ideas and concepts
What do you think about this idea? Ever tried it?
12. Each night you could reflect on Three Blessings. This reflection would include the blessing and then why the blessing happened to you. Carolyn Miller is the creator of this idea.
13. Recite 100 Thanks Every Day: “A simple and effective way to practice gratitude is by making giving thanks part of your everyday life. For example, it is an established Jewish practice to recite 100 such blessings a day. The term for “blessing” in Hebrew is bracha, which comes from the same root as the Hebrew word for “knee.” When you say a blessing, it is as if you have bent your knee in an act of gratitude. The habit of saying blessings can remind you to be thankful when you hit a green light, or the salad is fresh, or the garden is getting the rain it needs, or your child came home from school as usual.”Dr. Alan Morinis) Be sure to read this whole article for more gratitude pearls.
So, let me know if you try any of these. Or you’ve already tried one (some). Do you have any questions or thoughts about gratitude keeping?