“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.  All things have contributed to your advancement, so you would include all things in your gratitude.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gratitude is an emotion similar to thankfulness.  What many do not understand is that gratitude comes from within a person and not from what happens to them externally.  I have often heard others say, “I can be happy when…” or “If only this would happen, I would be happy.” True gratitude is an appreciation for what is valuable and meaningful to an individual internally, rather than tangible objects received externally.

Promoting An Attitude of Gratefulness

There are many thinking habits that support gratitude. Even though it is a response to having or accepting something that is good, gratefulness can be fostered through thought and behavior change.  These may look different for each individual, but some include:

Acknowledgement

Acknowledging the good things, people, and relationships in your life.  Being self-aware and cognizant of the love and resources that you already have are a great way to practice being grateful. 

Offer Grace

Forgiveness often assists us in seeing the bigger picture and understanding what is really important in life.  When we offer this to others, we are not only practicing peace, we are also showing appreciation on a deeper level.  This habit can promote a life of gratefulness.

Helping Others

When we reach out to others in a way that is beneficial to them, it not only helps them. It also comforts us.  Serving others can completely change your life perspective and reveal what is truly significant in the grand scheme of things.  No doubt that aiding another individual magnifies our own gratitude in a multitude of ways.

Recognition

Self-awareness and understanding your own strengths and weaknesses can offer solace in the form of gratitude. When you know yourself and what you are able to offer to others, you are better equipped. You are more capable of living a life of thankfulness and gratitude, rather than existing in the dark.

For more information on gratefulness, appreciation, gratitude, or any other mental health topic, we are here for you!  Please do not hesitate to reach out to Amy Wine Counseling Center at 832.421.8714. We are in this thing together!