How to be Grateful?

Posted by: Rose Tol, R&I Life Coaching, March, 2013, How to be grateful in Life Coaching

how to be grateful

How often do you pause for a moment and reflect on all the wonderful relationships and things you have in your life that you are grateful for? Some people even have forgotten how to be grateful? Gratitude is a powerful and transforming attitude toward life. It is powerful because gratefulness is open, positive and directs us towards humility. When we feel grateful our perception of things also changes. Gratitude is underestimated and gets easily pushed to the background as life demands and responsibilities take hold of our attention.

At times being grateful or expressing gratitude can be the hardest thing to do. Why is that?

Don't say you don't have enough time.

You have exactly the same number of hours per day

that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa,

Leonardo de Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein

~ H. Jackson Brown

Have an Attitude of Gratitude

How often do you express your gratitude to people around you for what they contribute? How often do you pause a moment and let yourself feel deeply what you are grateful for in your life? How automatic has your life become? Are you connected to the great mystery of it all? Do you wake up in the morning, grateful to have received the gift of another day to give, to love and to grow? Or do you rush out of bed attending to your To-Do-Today list? Do you know how to be grateful?

Learning how to be grateful is a must if you want to grow and evolve. Someone told me once that we grow from situations 7 times faster if we go through it with gratitude. Gratefulness opens our hearts and our minds. If you do not have gratitude and appreciate what you have, how can you receive anything more?

Gratefulness opens up the channels inside of ourselves, to whatever it is we are desiring in the deepest part of our hearts.

Power of Gratitude

Here are some areas of your life where adding gratitude can make all the difference.

  • The feeling of "the glass is half empty versus half full". The feeling of lack and scarcity stems from absence of gratitude. If you know this feeling of lack really well, you need to stop focusing on what is 'not enough' and what is missing and learn how to be grateful for what you have in the glass. Again if you can be sincerely grateful for what is there, even if it is a little, this will be the catalyst to open yourself, so more can come. The feeling of lack and scarcity does not attract what you desire. Gratitude not only makes us feel good, it's  one of the greatest attractors of abundance, love, peace, success, health, connection and more. The more we focus on what we already have, the wonderful aspects of our lives and what we appreciate, the more we end up having to be grateful for.
  • You can have gratitude on the surface, and you can feel grateful deep inside your heart, that place where you reallly feel it and mean it. Needless to say, just saying or thinking words of gratitude like automatic, not from a deep felt place inside are not very potent. The potency of gratefulness shows up in the sincerity the gratitude is meant and how deeply it is felt in the heart. When you practice how to be grateful, it has to be authentic for it to have the transformative impact.
  • Grateful people are known to recover faster from trauma. The common denominator is they all believe in the power of their thoughts and focus on finding relevance in their situation and make something better as a result of it.
    When hard times come, difficult challenges arise, find a way to welcome the experience. When you meet your challenges and pains this way, you are more likely to learn the lesson that was there for you to be learned and you will be able to let go and move on, without any repression or denial, which results into true freedom.
  • In gratitude we are able to stand back a bit and grasp the bigger picture of our lives and things. Gratitude cultivates the awareness of the universal power, that there is a force, a presence, an intelligence that we are part of and that moves us. The deeper our awareness grows in this area the more you will feel you connection. The deeper you experience your connection the more you will be able to hear the truth from within. With gratitude you will start to feel you are in the flow.
  • Gratefulness helps us to feel the joy and happiness of the simple moments, in the simple things. It helps us find the magic in the mundane. There's an old saying that if you've forgotten the language of gratitude, you'll never be on speaking terms with happiness.
  • A growing body of research shows that gratefulness makes us happier and healthier. According to Ocean Robbins, multiple studies have shown that when people keep gratitude journals—writing down one thing they are thankful for every day—they report more satisfaction with their lives, feel more optimism, feel more connected with others, and are kinder to the people around them. They even sleep better and feel more refreshed upon waking. One study even suggested that depressed people showed much lower levels of gratitude than non-depressed people.
  • Dr. John Gottman at the University of Washington has been researching marriages for two decades. The conclusion of all that research, he states, is that unless a couple is able to maintain a high ratio of positive to negative encounters (5:1 or greater), it is likely the marriage will end. With 90 percent accuracy, Gottman says he can predict, often after only three minutes of observation, which marriages are likely to flourish and which are likely to flounder. The formula is that for every negative expression (a complaint, frown, put-down, expression of anger) there needs to be about five positive ones (smiles, compliments, laughter, expressions of appreciation and gratitude).

Some Simple Ways on How to be Grateful


We can expand our capacity for gratitude by creating simple and genuine practices.

Have the attitude towards life as it being a gift, and your gratitude for the gift.

The more you can feel this to be true, and the more you practice this approach, this attitude of gratitude will become part of your reality and will encompass everything your do.

As you move towards ‘being’ grateful all the time it becomes a part of you and you will attract circumstances you want.

  1.  Start your day and complete your day with a focus, meditation or prayer on gratitude. This will set the tone for you day and sleep and you will notice, when done sincerely, the quality of your day and sleep will change tremendously.
  2. Keep a gratitude journal. Find a nice journal that you like and write down on a regular basis 5 things you are grateful for. When you start you can do this on a daily basis. The transformation of this simple exercise can be powerful.
  3. Make a conscious effort on a daily basis to share your gratitude with the people around you. Share something you appreciate about them every day.
  4. When you look in the mirror, tell yourself something that you are grateful for about yourself.
  5. When the 3 ways of thinking; negative thoughts, discouragement and judgments, plague you, turn your attention to something you are deeply grateful for. This will change the control the negative thoughts have over you.
  6. If you live as a family, find times when you are together, like at meal times, in the car driving, and each person shares for a moment what they are grateful for.
  7. Send a card or email or SMS message to someone everyday and let them know how much you appreciate them.

Gratitude is a quality and attitude worth cultivating and it is so simple to incorporate the practice of gratitude into our lives.

The following video from brother David Steindl-Rast is a wonderful moment to reflect on all things we can be grateful for. A great first step in learning how to be grateful.

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