3 Ways to Help Make Gratitude a Habit

What would you do if I told you there was a way to lower your stress level and improve your health both physically and emotionally? Would you want to know more? It is not a pill, and it is not a diet plan, but it is a new habit. This thing that can improve your life in so many ways is gratitude. According to the book The Power of Thanks, gratitude can help us achieve more, it can help us sleep better and it can make us more resilient to trauma.
I love when studies confirm something that God told us in His word. First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” It sounds like it could help us all if we made gratitude a habit.

Here are three ways to help make gratitude a habit in your life.

1. Write it down

I want to challenge you to begin your day by writing down three things you are grateful for. By starting our day this way it helps us remember what bring us joy and some days we desperately need that reminder.
Writing those things down also helps us learn to be intentional about gratitude. Writing things down helps us to slow down and be intentional about whatever we are writing.
Writing things down also helps us remember what we are grateful for.  If I need to do something and want to make sure that I don’t forget, I write it down.  Writing down what we are grateful for will help us remember especially when we are struggling during the day.
Start your day by writing down 3 things you are grateful for and see how that helps you focus on the good things in your life.

2. Say thank you

When was the last time you received a thank you note in the mail? How did it make you feel to go to the mailbox and see your name on an envelope? We live in an email, texting world where it is easier and much faster to send a thank you note through our computer or over our phone. I appreciate receiving a thank you anytime and in any form, but it feels a little different to get a note in the mail. Maybe it is because we know it took a little more time and effort to write a note, address it, put a stamp on it and make sure the mailman picks it up.
Another way to express our gratitude is to tell people thank you. I know in my life that I get busy and it is easy to forget to tell people thank you. Tell people thank you when they help you. Tell them thank you when they encourage you in some way. Tell a stranger thank you when they do their job.
Take some time this week and write a note, maybe two, to someone and express your gratitude to them.

3. In all circumstances

Did you notice in the scripture from first Thessalonians Paul did not say, “Give thanks for all circumstances?” Paul’s instructions were to “give thanks in all circumstances.” We all go through difficult times in our lives when it is hard to be grateful, but giving thanks in those circumstances will help get us through the difficult times.
During the cancer treatment we can give thanks for the kind nurse. While going through difficult times we can be grateful for the loving friend who is willing to listen. When we are grateful in all circumstances it changes our attitude. Gratitude is God’s solution to getting through difficult times.

In her book Write it Down, Make it Happen Henriette Klauser says, “When you remember to say thanks, when you live your life in a spirit of gratefulness, life will present you with even more things for which to be grateful.”

How has gratitude made a difference in your life?

How are you currently making gratitude a part of your life?