Cultivating Gratitude and Giving Thanks

October 1, 2021

By Bonnie Situ

Being told to give thanks is likely the single most common, and yet most wise, piece of advice that is given. Mastering the art of not taking things for granted and recognizing the privileges one has in their life is key in cherishing life. I believe it is an essential daily practice for everyone to take a moment to sit back, reflect, and simply be grateful, if not already in such headspace throughout the day. 

Gratitude is defined differently from individual to individual, but generally involves giving thanks. Expressing gratitude can be a personal practice, or extended to others, in many ways and can be applied to past, present or future events. All in all, it can improve the well-being of yourself and others, as you appreciate the abundance in your life and those that have contributed to it. Thus, I invite you, if you haven’t done so already, to reflect, and cultivate as well as express gratitude. This practice is especially important during today’s time of change and uncertainty. The following are suggestions for how you may do so. 

First, as I suggested beforehand, take some time to pause and reflect. Recall the events of your day, recognize any blessings you may have overlooked, think of joyous moments and find it in your heart to be thankful for the experiences. 

Keeping a gratitude journal is another method to keep you grounded. Personalize your writing habits to your liking and make it a habit to note down the gifts you received during your days. Let it be a sweet practice in your daily routine. 

Writing a thank you note is a great and simple way to express your gratitude. Transcribe your stream of consciousness in a letter addressed to yourself, another person, or nobody in particular. 

Another option is to nurture your mind with meditation. When meditating for gratitude, you can either follow a guided meditation or at any point of the day, dedicate a moment to focus on clearing your mental channels to train your attention on what you are grateful for. 

An act of kindness or charity is a great way to extend your gratitude towards others. The gesture, no matter how big or small, never goes unnoticed, and can make a bigger impact than you would have thought. 

Gratitude helps people refocus on the beauty of their lives. And when you appreciate life, you might just find you have more of it.