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How Can You Live a More Grateful Life?

Mon, Jun. 12, 2017 Posted: 01:41 AM

As a Christian, you have every right to be grateful for who you are – especially knowing who you could be. But would others say that gratefulness exudes from your daily attitude? If not, then you could be hurting your witness and mitigating the impact you have on those around you.

Gratefulness and Your Witness

As you try to live a life that’s reflective of Jesus and what he has done for you, it’s impossible for you to do anything other than be grateful. To be ungrateful is essentially to tell others that God hasn’t done enough for you to be happy. What does that tell others? Even if you don’t intend for it to turn people away, it does. Remember, they’re looking for something to grab on to – something that’s true and stable. If you’re ungrateful, then they’re going to assume that this sort of attitude is indicative of Christianity and will seek something else instead.

However, when you exude an overwhelming sense of gratitude for what you have, people are suddenly drawn to you. You become a magnet for hope. People start to want what you have and will ask you to speak into their lives.

4 Ways to be More Grateful in Your Daily Life

Gratefulness comes more naturally to some people than others. If you’re someone who is inclined to pessimism, you’ll have to worker harder to be grateful. Here are some suggestions that should nudge you in the right direction.

Express Your Thankfulness to Others

It’s one thing to tell yourself you’re thankful for something. It’s another to express your thankfulness to others. When you express your gratitude, it forces you to be vulnerable. There’s also the added pleasure of knowing that your thankfulness brings the recipient joy.

For example, let’s say you’re a small business owner who is stressed out about dealing with challenges in the marketplace and making ends meet. One simple way to find peace is by sending cheap thank you notes to customers. This forces you to recognize the blessings and lets you escape your negative funk.

Smile More Often

Did you know that something as simple as smiling more often can actually make you more grateful? “When you smile, your brain is aware of the activity and actually keeps track of it,” says Vivian Giang, an expert in workplace psychology. “The more you smile, the more effective you are at breaking the brain’s natural tendency to think negatively. If you smile often enough, you end up rewiring your brain to make positive patterns more often than it does negative ones.”

Count Your Blessings in the Morning

You’ve heard people tell you to count your blessings all your life, but what does this actually look like? It looks good written on a sign, but how do you actually count your blessings on a daily basis? Everyone is different, but one of the best techniques is to take a few minutes in the morning and spend this time in solitude/prayer.

“Many days, I try to humble myself and hold a 2-minute gratitude session,” self-proclaimed minimalist Leo Babauta says. “I simply sit or kneel, with no distractions, close my eyes, and think about what I’m grateful for and who I’m grateful for. I don’t do it every day, but let me tell you, on the days I do it, it makes me very happy.”

By counting your blessings in the morning, you set yourself up for a day of gratefulness. It gives you a good foundation upon which you can build the rest of your day.

Pray Worry Away

Worry is often what holds you back from being grateful. You fear something negative happening and then end up focusing more on the anxiety than the blessings in your life.

When worry is presented, your natural inclination is to take action and do something to alleviate the anxiety. But, if you’re honest with yourself, you can’t do everything. The best solution is to pray worry away. Give your stress and anxiety up to God and he’ll often reward you with a heart of gratitude.

It’s Your Choice

Nobody is going to force you to live a grateful life. But if you truly are a Christian and honestly believe that God sent his Son as a sacrifice for your sinfulness to save you from death and provide eternal life, why wouldn’t you be overwhelmingly grateful? Pain, sickness, and frustration will always exist on this side of heaven, but there’s a greater joy waiting.

It’s your choice, but a decision to embrace gratefulness will allow you to have a greater impact on those around you. As Christians, that’s something that we should all desire.

George Smith