We tend to not appreciate what we have in life. No matter how loving our relationships are or how successful we think we are, there is always a feeling of incompleteness. Thankfully, gratitude can be an enormous tool to live life to the fullest.
What does grace mean?
Before getting into how we can be grateful, let’s first try to define grace. What does it mean to be grateful for something? In its essence, gratitude is a way to appreciate what you are, do, and have in life. It is a way to appreciate life itself.
Gratitude starts with being conscious of what you are, what you do, and what you have. Once you realize how privileged you are, then a sense of thankfulness naturally arises within you. It is a feeling that comes from within rather than a social norm or a kind gesture.
If you can’t make this a clear picture in your mind, just imagine yourself growing up in a poor and war-torn country. Then, remember the way you actually grew up. You can understand the privileges you had and you may still enjoy in your life. It can be something as straightforward as having a house to stay in or bread to eat. Many take these for granted but others make it their lives’ mission to provide food and shelter to their family.
Why be grateful?
You may wonder why care and spend time trying to be grateful. Actually, there are many reasons why you won’t regret practicing gratitude. Two of the most important ones are happiness and empowerment. When you are grateful, you are naturally content with what you have. As a result, you feel a sense of joy and completeness.
At the same time, if you know what you have achieved in life, then the possibility of becoming better becomes a reality. Gratitude empowers you to succeed in ways that you never thought possible. It is not a mere coincidence that the popular self-help book “The Secret” considers gratitude an indispensable part of getting what you want in life.
In any case, being grateful makes sense. If somebody doesn’t want gratitude in their lives, they don’t want happiness and success too. It is not a question of whether to be or not to be grateful; it is a question of willingness and of how. Although there are many tools and practices, this article focuses on just one.
Making a gratitude list
Writing down your thoughts is one of the best ways to understand and organize your mind. That is why creating a gratitude list is an efficient method to start practicing gratitude. Remember that the goal here is to be grateful every living moment in your life. But because this is not something you can achieve over a day or month, practicing gratitude is a promising starting point.
You can just plan and allocate a specific time through your day or week to do this practice. Just sit down and think of what happened to you on the last day, week, and entire life. The question you can ask is: “What are you grateful for in life and why?”.
Once you make the list, revisit it weekly if you can’t make it daily. Read it out loud if you can, edit it if you must. In any case, you will see the best results if you daily spend some time thinking of the things for which you are grateful. You can do that anytime throughout the day; you do not need to read the list if you can remember the main points.
If you want, you can also visualize this gratitude list and transform it into a gratitude picture or canvas. Draw something or find a photo that reminds you of a specific bullet point in your gratitude list. Then post all these photos and drawing to a canvas or straight to your wall. You can be creative here as well. For inspiration, this is the gratitude canvas I recently created for myself:
- gratitude is a way to appreciate what you are, do, and have in life. It is a way to appreciate life itself.
- When you are grateful, you are naturally content with what you have as well as empowered to get what you want in life
- Creating a gratitude list is an efficient method to start practicing gratitude on a daily basis.