6 Tips on How to Be More Grateful

Are you practicing an attitude of gratitude? It’s Thanksgiving week! Even though this is a special time for us to remember the importance of gratitude, being grateful in the everyday is something we can all work on improving. This week, I’m sharing 6 ways to be more grateful every day.

Snippet from the Show

When you’re feeling like it’s difficult to be grateful, shift your focus and start serving the people around you.

1. Write it and speak it.

You might consider keeping a gratitude journal or using an app, but even if that’s not your style, you can practice saying out loud the things you are thankful for. “I’m so glad I have a working dishwasher!” or “I am so grateful for my job!” Speak these things about loud as a reminder to yourself that you are grateful, but also as a good example to people around you.

2. Say grace.

This idea comes from this great quote from G.K. Chesterton:

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”

What a wonderful idea to say “grace” not only before meals, but before enjoying any good thing that comes from God!

3. Remember tougher times.

Call to mind times when you really were struggling, personally, professionally, physically or financially, and give thanks to God for getting you through those tough times. But then, also be sure to focus for a moment on being grateful that you are not currently going through those tough things right now. God got you through it, and you are probably a stringer, wiser, more compassionate person because of it.

4. Pray.

Make gratitude a focused part of your daily prayer time. At the start of your day, or at the end of your day, pause and give thanks for the good things in your life, those things you especially appreciated or are looking forward to. Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you toward gratitude in all things.

5. Be grateful in response to negative things.

This is hard! But so worth working on! Try to get in the habit of thinking of something to be grateful for whenever you face a negative situation. Did your car break down on the way to work? Thank God you have a car! Thank God you have a job! Thank God you have a mother-in-law who can come pick you up! The more you do this, the more it will become your reflexive response.

6. Reach out to others.

It’s hard to throw a pity party for yourself when you are focused on the needs of others. Look for a way to volunteer your time in service to other people who may  ot have all the blessings you enjoy. This is a way of reminding yourself of the many blessings you have, but also a way to cultivate a generous habit of reaching out to others instead of focusing on yourself.

Listener Feedback

In feedback this week, I share a question from Diane about starting a women’s group at her parish. Some resources I mention:

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