I’ve been exploring the importance of feeling and expressing more gratefulness in our lives (Gratitude Post). Scientists are discovering how an attitude of gratitude is essential for health, relationships, as well as spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing. I love it when science starts figuring out what God has proclaimed. There are 35 verses in the Bible encouraging a heart of gratitude.
But how can we grow more gratitude? Dr. Alison Chen, a naturopathic doctor, writes in a recent Huffington Post article that creating a nightly gratitude ritual is a powerful strategy. She suggests taking a few minutes at the end of each day to stop and reflect, as a great way to bring about more feelings of gratefulness in your life.
Chen’s other suggestions include:
• Write thank-you notes: Whether in response to a gift or kind act, or simply as a show of gratitude for someone being in your life, getting into the habit of writing thank-you letters can help you express gratitude in addition to simply feeling it inside. The most powerful letter to write is to God, expressing your gratitude helps you draw closer. This process helps us to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and place ourselves properly.
• Nonverbal actions: This includes smiles and hugs, both of which can express a wide array of messages, from encouragement and excitement to empathy and support. We do these nonverbal actions with those we can touch. Nonverbal actions with Our Lord are primarily prayer and communion. This is a discipline that impacts us greatly. Taking the time to sit in silence before the Lord in a posture of gratitude aligns us for the day and season of our life.
Expressing thanks during moments of reflection is another way to cultivate gratitude. While prayer often starts our day, reflection often is a part of the day or a way we may bring our day to a close. I often think of this as praying without ceasing. Practicing "mindfulness" means that you're actively paying attention to the moment you're in right now. You can sit quietly and focus on something that you're grateful for, such as a pleasant smell, a cool breeze, or a memory. Mindfulness of people and God creates awareness and heightens the beauty we are in. It is the concept of being present!
Perhaps the most powerful way to move into a mindfulness of gratitude is to make a declaration. Tell 3 people that you are working on developing an attitude of gratitude. Ask if you can share your journey and if they would help you. Do the same with Jesus! Share with the Lord that you want to grow your gratitude. This is a space that I am certain you will receive. The Lord says “seek” and you will find. He promises to give us the desires of our heart.
Is your heart’s desire to be more grateful?
If you want to see the touch of God spend 30 days seeking gratefulness and I guarantee you God will show up!
Take a couple minutes each day to stop and reflect. Taking regular pause is an excellent way to bring about more feelings of gratefulness in your life. Apparently, it doesn’t matter if we do this through silent meditation, or in conversation with others. I believe both is best. Make it a part of your desired growth. As a coach (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) I work in this area regularly.
What are you doing to pay attention to this key emotion and to cultivate an attitude of gratitude? I’d love to hear from you I can be reached here firstname.lastname@example.org and on LinkedIn or text me at 714-267-2818
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