I’ve heard many people saying that gratitude is for “joyous people.” They think that when you have joy, it will be easier for you to be grateful. However, as a therapist, I have spent hundreds of hours working with people to help them feel better. Throughout these experiences and my own experiences, no one is joyful all the time. Life is full of ups and downs. It is not possible to wait until when you are joyful to practice gratitude. However, again from experiences, I have learned that people who practice gratitude are the people who are most of the time joyous as gratitude invites joy in our lives.
What makes us expert or good in anything is practice, practice practice. Gratitude is most effective when you practice it daily. For example, every day, write in your journal what you are grateful for or around the dinner table or your family, asking each of you what you are thankful for today. Then observe how their face brighten up as they are filled with joy as they say something they are grateful of as gratitude invite joy in your lives.
Many families have lost their beloved during this covid-19 pandemic. When I talk to families who have suffered the loss of their beloved ones, what they have in common is not the big things they missed about the beloved ones, but the little things like texts or phone calls from them. Is hearing the door slumped, thinking my husband or wife or children are back home, or hearing the screaming in your children’s room reminding you that you kids are becoming silly or arranging to meet for coffee or dinner with your friends or family. From time to time, have a text from them checking if you are okay. These are the small things that people missed a lot when they lose their believed ones. So why wait until it is too late to have the joy of these little things but very important in our lives. Why not practice gratitude that you can ring your parents, that you can hear your kids messing around, or you can still receive a text or a phone called from a beloved on checking if you are okay. Gratitude helps you notice the small things that we take for granted. It is these little things that bring joy to our lives and make us feel connected with others.
Rene Brown, one inspiriting teacher, quoted this in one of her shows, It is not joyful that makes us grateful, but it is gratitude that makes us joyful.
Maybe you could start by asking yourself, will you want to invite some joy in your life. Why not try to start by practicing gratitude. It is free of charge. Test it out and see if practicing it daily invite joy to you. We’ve been through challenging times with Covid-19, and many have struggled with feeling low or sad. Why not practice gratitude to help you feel joyous regardless of what is happening around you.
God bless and stay Safe.