What Is Gratitude?
Spiritual teacher Mahatma Gandhi described gratitude in a poetic fashion when he said, “We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.” Author Melody Beattie touted the benefits of a life lived in gratitude by saying, “Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more.” My 6-year-old dug deep when asked if he knew gratitude and said, “Mom, give me a gift, and I’ll let you know.”
Implementing a daily gratitude practice can help you move to a happier emotional space, manage stress levels, and instill a deeper connection between you and your loved ones. Once acknowledging gratitude becomes a habit in your life, the only gift you’ll need is the one gratitude gives back to you.
Living an “attitude of gratitude” has inspired authors and psychologists to write volumes about the best way to walk this road. Sifting through all the information to find a formula that works can feel daunting. This is the reason that Ruth Ward, associate pastor of The New Birth Church, has a practical definition that resonates.
“FOR ME, GRATITUDE IS A LIVING WORD. IT’S AN ACTION WORD. IT’S SOMETHING THAT YOU DO,” RUTH SAYS.
Ruth’s definition of gratitude as an “action word” motivates a person to “literally express” their gratitude to those around them. “Saying thank you to a family member for the simple things” is one way to ease into a daily practice. Continuing with this concept, she says, “Make an effort to express gratitude in your family once a day. You’d be surprised by the change it makes.”