Gratitude is more than being thankful. The word “gratitude” comes from Latin, “gratia” which means gratefulness. It means focusing more on the good than the bad. The Collins dictionary describes “gratitude” as “the state of being grateful.” Research has shown that expressing gratitude can improve the overall well-being. This does not mean ignoring the things which are not going well in your life. Gratitude just means focusing more on the positives than on the negatives.

Gratitude changes your focus on what you don’t have to what you have. Think about the things you are grateful for in your life.

 The benefits of expressing gratitude include:

  • helping one cope with adversity
  • helping one cultivate positive feelings
  • improving happiness levels
  • reducing depression and anxiety levels
  • decreasing aches and pains

Everyone has something to be grateful for. It is important to celebrate even the smallest accomplishments. Keep a gratitude journal and record every little good thing which happens in your life. This has proved to be helpful. A study by Emmons & McCullough showed that people who kept a journal, exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic. Including journaling in your morning routine will help you realize how quickly a positive mindset develops.

Ways to cultivate gratitude

1. Celebrate your achievements, even minor ones. Focus more on the good things happening in your life.

2. Update your Prayer Journal and or Gratitude Journal. 

Journaling can help you focus more on being grateful. If you always have something good to be thankful for, this can cultivate feelings of gratitude.

3. Connect with people who make you happy.

Spread joy and be thankful for the people around you. Practicing gratitude can  help you build relationships with other people. Human beings are created for service.


4. Keep track of your daily list of to-do activities.

If you have a busy schedule, it might be helpful to keep a do-do list. This can help you pay attention to the things you have to do. By doing this, you will notice good things happening in your life even if they are small.

5. Find time for exercise even if it means a daily walk

Daily exercise is good for health. Exercise can help you relax and also improves the mood. Out in nature, you will notice the beautiful flowers and be thankful for the birds that sing.


6. Learn something new

Challenge yourself to learn something new. It could be learning a new skill such as cooking or learning a new language. It is good to keep the brain engaged. 


7. Think positively

A positive outlook on life can help one appreciate good things in life. It helps one stay hopeful even in the face of challenges. One has to be intentional in disrupting negative thoughts.


8. Check the silver linings

Sometimes one has to look for the good in a bad situation. Knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel can help one stay positive.


9. Practice saying something good to people

When you do are intentional about saying good things to people, you will feel grateful for making someone’s day. Your words can either brighten someone’s day or ruin it. Be intentional with your words. 

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain

 10. Do not worry about what you cannot control

It is helpful not to worry about things you have no control over. Even if you worry about these things, you will not solve anything on your own. Not worrying does not mean inaction. 

By practicing gratitude, you will be happier and more satisfied with your life. I hope this post inspires you to keep practicing gratitude.