Updated: Aug 23
3 Ways to Show and Feel Gratitude
“Living in a state of gratitude is the gateway to grace” — Arianna Huffington
Gratitude is about being thankful; a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. But what does it practically mean in your day to day life? It’s when you positively focus on what’s good in your lives and are thankful for what you have. In order to focus and assess, you need to take the time to pause. You need to truly notice to appreciate the things you might often take for granted, like having a roof over your head, food, clean water, and/or relationships with family and friends.
Nowadays you can even be thankful for things like the internet and a working phone.
When you generally feel sad or down in the dumps, how do you deal with it? Sometimes people take themselves off shopping, or maybe eat something tasty, or even have a drink or smoke. But there is one powerful strategy that costs nothing, does no harm financially, physically or mentally, and can help alleviate this negative feeling. Showing gratitude.
It’s often easier to feel bad when you’re going through a tough time. For many it comes more naturally to blame situations and other people when you feel like you have nothing or things aren’t going right. How often do you not acknowledge your gratitude? How often do you take for granted the very things that deserve your gratitude the most?
What if you all took a breath? How much time does it really take for you to show gratitude? It could be as simple as a look up at the sky, taking a moment to be grateful to be alive. No matter how hard things can be or feel, take a moment to assess. There is always something to be grateful for; the kindness shown by a stranger that brightened up your day when you least expected it, the power of laughter for bringing joy into your life, your mistakes for helping you improve, become better, all of your senses for giving you the ability to emotionally feel something.
Looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs could actually be viewed as the Hierarchy of Gratitude. The bottom “Physiological Needs” tier of what you need most to survive, are often the things you take for granted the most. Food, water, shelter, clothing, sleep, and clean air to breathe. Let’s take a moment to assess what you are grateful for.
3 Ways to Show and Feel Gratitude:
Take stock of your life. What are you grateful for? Even taking the time to write it down. Start with your hierarchy of needs: food, shelter, clothes, job, community.
Now acknowledge what you’re grateful for. Say it out loud. Say “thank you” as you pour yourself a glass of clean water to drink. Be present. Be aware of what you have.
If you are someone with privileges, a roof over your head, a stable job, or an abundance of finances, utilize your privileges wisely. Feeling gratitude and showing gratitude can in turn help others, and have an important impact on the world around you. Continue to pause, assess, and be grateful.
If you feel you don’t have anything to be grateful for, please reach out to family, friends, or a health professional. Reach out and ask for help.
If you didn’t already take a moment to do so, pause. Look at your life and what you have to be grateful for today. Most of us have much more to be grateful for than we realize.
Thank you for reading.