- A grateful heart is a connected heart
- Can you cultivate an attitude of gratitude?
- Still, it is never too late to cultivate a grateful heart.
- Practice gratitude
- Activity for you:
- Here’s my list:
The grateful heart is not developed in a single moment; it is the result of a thousand choices.
Gratitude makes us happy. Why, there is scientific proof for this. Gratitude is an emotion that keeps you positive and happy.
Feeling grateful is more than just saying thank you. In fact, I read an article that described the difference between gratitude and thankfulness. While we often use the words grateful and thankful interchangeably, being grateful is about appreciating what one has, rather than what one wants. Being thankful or thanking someone often implies you are acknowledging your thanks for something that someone has given you.
Confusing? Let me explain. Thankfulness can be momentary—as in when you thank someone for holding the door. And then you carry on with whatever you are doing. Gratefulness is at a deeper level and has feelings attached to it, and grows over time.
Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.
Where thankfulness is an emotion, gratitude is an attitude of appreciation, regardless of the circumstance. It involves being thankful but goes beyond that. It means being thankful and appreciating your life daily, even when there is nothing exciting happening. You decide that it is a good day even when not-so-great things happen. You understand that sadness is a part of life and you are grateful for what you have.
Okay, I think you get the idea. Bottomline—when we recognize and focus on the blessings in our lives, we are likely to be happier. And this works both for the giver and receiver.
Sadly, with life being hectic we often forget to pause and notice the good things we have. We take kindness for granted. But it is true that a grateful heart is more optimistic and this strengthens our immune system. It is no surprise that optimistic people live healthier lives.
A grateful heart is a connected heart
When you appreciate people, you attract friends and have stronger relationships.
Consequently, counting your blessings keeps you from comparing yourself with others, that thief of joy and promotes self-love.
And the benefits of gratitude are not just for individuals—you enjoy them in your professional life as well. Being grateful and kind to your colleagues makes you more likeable because people who feel appreciated perform better.
We can safely say that a grateful heart—an attitude of gratitude—puts you directly on the path to happiness. I mean, there is literally no downside to this attitude. All it needs is practice.
Can you cultivate an attitude of gratitude?
Yes! You just need to be conscious about being a grateful heart, counting your blessings, and appreciating what you have on a daily basis. By practicing gratitude, you focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have.
The good news is, gratitude is a choice. Sadly, it does not come that easily to us. Even though we’ve been taught during our childhood to say thank you when someone does something nice for us or gives us something, saying thank you becomes a routine thing, said automatically and not always with feeling. Rather like answering, “Fine” when someone asks “how are you?”
Still, it is never too late to cultivate a grateful heart.
How can you do this?
Every chance you get, express gratitude. It fills you with optimism.
Apply the Law of Attraction
Raise your vibration by acknowledging and giving thanks for what you have and what you experience. When you get into a state of gratitude, you give off positive vibes that in turn, help you to attract the people and the situations you want.
Have a grateful heart
With a grateful heart, you reflect on all that you see around you. You consciously appreciate the little things—water to drink, food to eat, the sounds of nature, someone’s smile, a bud in your garden, and so on.
Use gratitude quotes
This is one of my favorite ways and an easy way to express gratitude. Gratitude quotes are powerful in reminding us the value of a grateful heart. They change our perception of life in a positive way, nudging us to focus on the positive things rather than the negative things.
Practicing gratitude has the power to change your life. I enjoy keeping a gratitude journal where I list three things I am grateful for, every day. It is fine to write down the little things. When you go back and look at it, you’ll find that it brings you joy and reminds you of all that you have. So simple, but powerful.
Other little things that you can do are:
- Compliment someone—it may be their hair, their outfit, or their smile.
- Let someone ahead of you in line at the supermarket or coffee shop. Imagine someone doing that for you and think about how it feels!
- Turn off social media for some time every day—and shut off the negative media. Focus on the good stuff.
- Appreciate your friends—tell your BFF how much you love them and why.
- Listen with attention—we are in such a rush these days that we only half-listen to someone who is talking to us. Next time, give them your full attention rather than think about your response even before they stop talking.
- Go outside and enjoy nature—desk jobs and too much screentime end up keeping us away from the outdoors. Make it a point to take a walk in the park. Watch children play—better still, join them! Observe birds. Take in the beauty of the world around you.
- Stop complaining—set aside a few hours every week to stop complaining every day. You will be amazed at the difference this makes. Not only will you become conscious of what you are doing, you’ll also learn to reframe things in a positive way. Result? A grateful heart.
Activity for you:
Make a list of three things you are grateful for today.
Here’s my list:
- I received two beautiful gifts that I am grateful for today. One is a lovely wooden box where I can store rotis (I’ve always wanted one) and the other is a surprise gift – a pair of earrings. I am especially grateful that my friend was thoughtful and noticed when I admired these things as we were browsing a website together and remembered to gift me exactly what I like. She knows I love earrings!
- When I checked my blood sugar this morning, it was within normal range. I am grateful that the effort I am making to manage my blood sugar is getting me results and this is highly motivating for me, encouraging me to do what I have to do with enthusiasm.
- I am grateful for the fresh produce I was able to get today, allowing me to cook and eat healthily.
- I am grateful for the long conversation today with my son, filled with laughter. So thankful for technology.
What are you grateful for? Do you have a grateful heart?