In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Gratitude is a topic that is discussed mainly around Thanksgiving, but it’s such an important part of life – shouldn’t we give it more attention?
Gratitude has always been a central aspect of the Christian life: Scripture mentions gratitude and giving thanks to God many times, and even the word “Eucharist” is a Greek term that means “thanksgiving.”
But how do we make gratitude a central part of our lives? How can we grow in gratitude?
On his show last week, Phil Sandoval discussed gratitude, its benefits, and simple ways to practice gratitude. During this discussion, Phil referenced Dr. Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Emmons has spent 15 years studying gratitude, and has collected a large body of scientific data that shows how gratitude has the power to transform lives. Below are some suggestions on how to become a more grateful person, based on Dr. Emmons work:
1. Make a gratitude wall: Designate one wall in your home, office, or classroom to place pictures of the things you are grateful for.
2. Use social media as a gratitude journal: Gratitude journals have shown to be good for psychological and physical health. But another option is to use social media as a gratitude journal. Use Instagram to post pictures of what you’re thankful for, or things that remind you of reasons to be grateful. Use Twitter to post about things you’re grateful for, and use a specific hashtag (i.e. #gratefultweet, #gratitudejournal) so you can go back and remember how blessed you are.
3. Model gratitude to your children: Dr. Emmons says, “You cannot give your kids what you yourself don’t have … Virtue is caught, not taught.” Show your own thankfulness toward your children and other people and they will see that gratitude is important. (more…)