How can I develop a more grateful attitude?

There are many ways to become a more grateful person.  Here are some of my favorite ideas for developing the habit of viewing life through the lens of gratitude:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal.   At the end of each day, write down five things that occurred that day for which you feel grateful, or that you regard as a blessing.  At the end of each week, review your daily lists.  Say a prayer of thanks for all the blessings that have graced your life that week.
  2. Take time to go out into nature and just observe the beauty around you.  Engage your senses as you take time to smell, touch, taste, feel, and listen to your surroundings.  Allow yourself time to remember other occasions when you were out in nature and delighted in the marvels of God’s creations.  As children we probably spent a good deal of time outdoors.  Think back to the things that engaged your attention and wonder. Can you recall the feelings?  Can you regenerate them?  It’s a great exercise!
  3. Visit an art museum and take in the variety of works that are on display.  Allow plenty of time to observe the various exhibits—sculpture, artifacts, photographs, paintings.  Enjoy the various styles, color pallets, sizes and types of art as you take in the multitude of ways artists have found to express their creativity.   Concerts halls, theaters, and libraries also allow for observing a wide range of creative expression.  So, don’t sit at home, get out and enjoy the contributions that have come from the workings of so many creative minds.
  4. Take time—whether at home, visiting friends or eating out at a restaurant—to smell, taste and really enjoy your food.  If you or your host has taken the time to make the presentation beautiful, that’s just another reason for feelings of appreciation.  I love good food and find it a frequent cause for expressing thanks!