I have always written in a gratitude journal since 2017, but I decided to be more consistent with my writing this 2022.
I know that gratitude and having a thankful heart have many positive benefits and impacts on our lives, according to both the Bible and science.
And one of the better videos I watched was from a renowned Benedictine monk named David Steindl-Rast. In his TED Talk, he said that gratitude is a crucial ingredient to happiness, simply stating, if you want to be happy, be grateful – and I know he is right.
What is Gratitude?
Gratitude is more than just thankfulness. Being thankful can be caused by a feeling, but gratitude will require action and looking beyond what we feel. Gratitude is a decision we need to take every day to obtain a new view of life from a different perspective.
What are my gratitude journal rules?
My gratitude journal rule is simple. I just need to write at least three things that I am thankful for, but I have to think of non-regular happenings, so I’ll have to look back at what happened during the day.
In the past sixty days or so, I consistently wrote in my gratitude journal, and here’s what I learned.
1. I am blessed beyond what I deserve.
In a world where many people claim they deserve almost everything, I would have to stand on the other side of that fence and say that I can’t claim to deserve every good thing that went my way.
While looking in my day-to-day tracking in my gratitude journal, taking the fact that I wake up for a new day is already something to be grateful for. I am also blessed to have food to eat, clean water to drink, a bed to sleep in, meaningful work, and loving relationships.
I believe that it is all through God’s grace that I receive great things beyond what I can imagine and beyond what I truly deserve.
2. Always look at the bright side.
There are days when almost everything is going our way, so it is easy to tell the things we are thankful for. However, there are also days when we can just stop and take a deep breath and tell ourselves, “When will this day end? I am so tired.”
Upon checking my gratitude journal, many things already happened in my life that I am thankful for in just the first quarter of the year. There are big and small moments that made up the past months, and I see things in a clearer view.
Just like from the classic song by South Border, “There’s a rainbow always after the rain.” So, even though bad things may occasionally come our way, remember that it is only a bad day, not a bad life.
Having a grateful heart gives us a more positive outlook on life.
3. The small things make a big difference.
Big things don’t happen every day, and if we aim to have a big moment every single day before we are thankful, then we are bound for disappointments.
We should show our gratitude not only in the big moments but, more importantly, on the little things.
I have multiple entries where I am most thankful for in the day: I ate my favorite food, went for a walk, or even lost some weight.
We need to learn to appreciate more of the little things because most of the time, the combination of those little things makes the big moments happen.
4. Sometimes we take some blessings for granted.
There are times in our lives when almost everything that comes our way is good, and we feel so excited, happy, and thankful. However, as it seems that nothing may go wrong, we may get accustomed to that feeling until we get dulled, which can cause some dangers.
Having everything good going our way may cause us to be more overconfident and take some things for granted, so we need to continuously check ourselves if we are becoming arrogant and less grateful.
Gratitude is more than just a feeling; it is a choice. So we need to look closely at our lives and identify the blessings that we have.
It doesn’t matter if the blessing is great or small. What is important is that we have a grateful heart to thank God for everything.
Have you counted your blessings today?
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