Practicing gratitude beckons a simpler approach to life. And likewise, a simpler life offers ample opportunity and reason to practice gratitude.
When we feel thankful for our circumstances, our body, our work, our relationships, and our life in general, we open up to experiencing true contentment. When we use less effort, and buy only what matters most to us, we can appreciate the gifts that life has already offered.
For instance, many people believe that all of their challenges will go away if they only earned x amount of dollars, but gratitude and fulfillment can only come from within since our outer circumstances are always changing and evolving.
When we practice gratitude, our mindset shifts to one of abundance rather than scarcity.
We become more attentive to our needs, our desires, our relationships, our environment, and the present moment. You will discover how much you have to offer others and the world. You will also see the inherent gifts already inside of you.
When you’re able to experience gratitude, you’re more likely to help others, realizing with humility how your life has been shaped and informed by all of your experiences.
As you simplify how you spend your time, based on what you truly value most, you will notice that your life is filled with meaning and purpose.
This type of fulfillment also results in better physical and mental health, because you are living life in alignment with what’s most important to you
Gratitude heightens our enjoyment of the seasons of life, providing the strength to make it through challenging times and to be fully present during the better ones.
Gratitude could be called a discipline of the heart. It requires practice when times are easy and even more practice when life becomes difficult. But the more we train ourselves to that end, the more we are able to access it when we need it the most.
Gratitude is the result of seeing all of experiences of your life as a classroom for learning, therefore, it is a discipline and not an emotion.
The opposite of gratitude and simplicity is discontentment and hoarding. When people find themselves collecting and keeping objects they don’t highly value, they typically feel empty inside and are in a constant struggle for meaning.
I’d like to offer a few practices for calling on gratitude in your life:
Schedule five minute periods of quiet reflection throughout your day to reflect on what you are thankful for
Intentionally find gratitude for simple joys, such as a sun drenched morning or a good conversation with a friend
If your current season of life is a stormy one, take time to reflect on what you are learning from it
Keep a gratitude journal in which you record what you are grateful for