How to Be Grateful – 3 Things You Can Easily Do Today!
This is supposed to be the best time of the year to be grateful. With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner we see and hear messages all around reminding us. But you may wonder how to be grateful when you are surrounded by negatives and you simply do not feel grateful. This story may help you find clarity…
I remember one particular day when I was young. My Mom heard me complaining about something. She immediately sat me down and proceeded to tell me about a family she knew very well. They were a young couple with five children that lived on a dairy farm not far from where we lived. One night while the young couple was out milking cows the house caught on fire. With tears in my Mom’s eyes she told me how all five children perished in the fire. I will never forget this story for as long as I live.
So why am I writing about such a tragic story? I’m sharing this with you today because it changed my life and it just might change yours too. Any time I start to think about something negative or feel sorry for myself for any reason I think about this family and what they endured. And I remember my Mom reminding me that no matter what I think I’m going through in my life there is somebody out there that is going through something worse.
The understanding that there is someone in the world that has a greater struggle has a way of humbling us.It is a simple reminder that we are blessed and that things could always be worse.
It is so easy to think about what we don’t have versus what we do. It’s almost as if it’s programmed in us to look for the negative before the positive.
Why be grateful?
Let’s be honest, face the truth, and acknowledge some things…
We all want to be happy and feel good.
When we think about negative things we feel negative emotions.
When we think about good things we physically and emotionally feel better.
Feeling grateful happens when we are focusing on good things.
What can you do to be grateful?
Even when we know it is beneficial to be grateful it is not always easy when we are in the middle of a trial. I want to help you, so here are 3 very practical things you can do today.
Ask yourself, “Could this be worse?” Then immediately be grateful that it isn’t.
Look for the gift. There is a treasure in every trial; an opportunity to become stronger, wiser, strengthen relationships, see wrong doors close and right doors open, etc.
Focus on what you have versus what you do not.
You may be thinking, “Well this is ridiculously easy.” or “Why is she writing about something that we all know to do?” Many of us do know these things however we don’t always remember to practice them.
These are 3 practical steps you can apply to help you be more grateful and experience greater peace and joy in every area of your life. If you find it challenging to be grateful consider writing these 3 steps on an index card. Keep your card with you and when you find yourself thinking negatively immediately read your card as a reminder to be grateful.
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Oh and in case you were wondering what happened to the family in the story, the young couple went on to have four more children. Despite their tragedy the young couple built a family based on faith, hope, and love.