What does it look like to live a grateful life? There’s the stereotypical, happy all the time, say hello to the caterpillars on the sidewalk, movie version of contented thankful living, and then there’s reality.
Grateful people still get grumpy. Grateful people can still struggle.
Gratitude isn’t a magic bullet, but it’s a wonderful tool for rearranging our priorities and helping us grow closer to God and other people by appreciating them as they should be appreciated.
Here are five ways that you can live gratitude every day:
Turn jealousy on its head and be grateful instead of envious.
We’re just gonna jump right into the thick of things here. This is hard. This is really, really hard. But I think that one of the most powerful ways we can live gratitude on a daily basis is using gratitude intentionally as a tool in the fight against comparison.
When we see someone else doing something incredible or looking amazing or creating something beautiful, whatever the case might be, instead of turning into jealousy, we can offer a short prayer of gratitude for the wonderful work of God and others on display.
It might take a while before this feels organic (maybe a long, long while). But it’s still worthwhile to muscle down the jealousy that you might actually feel and say a short gratitude prayer instead. This is a modified “fake it till you make it situation” - my signature “pray like you mean it until you do” spin move. The more times you override your jealousy instinct with gratitude the easier it will become and the more natural it will be to turn to gratitude in these kind of situations. (This is totally preaching to myself x 1,000,000).
Appreciate boring things.
Kids are so good at this.
My son is so fascinated with science that he is constantly launching all kinds of facts at me about how many atoms are in things and the molecular structure of things that absorb water. Even boring things are actually really cool, because God designed every aspect of these things. It’s an amazing practice to sit and be thankful for air, and light, and gravity, and the world itself. When I wake up super frazzled, or let’s be honest, it’s my kids who wake me up which makes me super frazzled, I try and find five minutes to do this in the first part of the morning so that I can re-center.
Complements are so wonderful. They make the person you complement feel good, and they are a concrete opportunity for you to express gratitude for something wonderful about somebody else.
I try and complement it liberally as I can, even with strangers.
Have you ever noticed how compliments sometimes mean more coming from strangers? I think part of it is the fact that you know they have no vested interest in you and so the impetus to say something must be extra strong for them to approach a total stranger and say something nice. It definitely makes everybody feel good. (It’s also an antidote to the internet FYI!)
Use a daily gratitude practice.
It could be the worksheet we talked about last week from the Gratitude Resource Package (sign up at the bottom of this post to grab it if you haven't) , it could be a benchmark of five complements to other people every day, or whatever other practice resonates most with you, but making some kind of daily commitment that is measurable can be so helpful in nurturing long-term gratitude.
You can also use a physical item to support your daily gratitude practice, like something from our Gratitude Collection.
In fact, today we are launching three new gratitude items + one super awesome bundle, all to serve as ongoing reminders of the importance of gratitude. The new items include 2 pieces (a limited edition necklace and some super cute stud earrings) with an image of open hands lifting up a full heart. I love the simplicity and beauty of that symbol because it encompasses praise, lifting our hearts up in prayer, and also speaking gratitude out of the fullness of our hearts.
There is also a simple cord “Thank You” bracelet that you’ll see on your wrist throughout the day that will remind you to find something to say thank you for in that moment - a powerful way to use a piece of jewelry to keep you accountable to your gratitude practice!
Pray prayers of thanksgiving.
Gratitude to God is what it’s ultimately all about. All that is good comes from him. Everything we are grateful for no matter what it is is the direct result of God moving. Dedicate a special prayer time every day to just being thankful.
I like to do this in the evening as I’m going to bed. As I get more and more tempted by the closing of the day to give in to worry about what is still undone or what is coming next, I have found it so helpful to sit in gratitude with God instead.
To celebrate the launch of our new gratitude products and the work you’ve put in with us this month to grow in gratitude we are offering our brand new Gratitude Bundle on a super sale for the next 48 hours!
All the products in the box come to $50 normally and sell as a bundle for $38, but for the next 48 hours you can get the whole bundle for just $30 - no code needed! It includes the new bracelet and stud earrings, as well as a lovely print and sticker all in a perfectly giftable box.
How do you live gratitude on a daily basis? If you have any tips or tricks I would love to share them in our Facebook and Instagram stories so go ahead and comment to let me know!