“It’s not joy that makes us grateful. It’s gratitude that makes us joyful.” – Jesuit priest
It’s easy to lose sight of what we appreciate in our lives. No matter where you are or what is going on around you, there is always something to be thankful for.
There is power in acknowledging the small things because it changes our perspective, makes us more positive, and increases the amount of joy in our lives.
Dr. Brene Brown talks about this connection in her book Daring Greatly.
In the interview below she talks about how practicing gratitude invites more joy into our lives and the importance of having a tangible gratitude practice. If we want to invite massive amounts of joy into our lives, we must practice gratitude regularly.
I know this personally from an exercise I started doing with my husband over a year ago. My friend Vanessa Loder introduced me to an appreciation exercise where each day you state three things you appreciate about the other person. We decided to do this after finding ourselves focusing on the small, negative things that the other person was doing like leaving towels on the bed or clothes on the floor. It started a cycle of negativity and we wanted to change that. So we committed to doing this every day for 30 days and the outcome was pretty amazing.
The power of this exercise was that it started a cycle of appreciation and positivity. Not only did it increase my level of joy, but I would add love, fulfillment and peace. Now we do this exercise for all areas of our life.
I can’t say enough about how having a gratitude practice has changed my relationship with others and perspective on my life. It’s easy to be grateful when things are going well, but a gratitude practice will teach you to be grateful in all situations.
This week’s challenge:
- Write down all the things you are grateful for in your life both big and small.
- Then think about a situation that you feel negativity about (car broke down, dislike your job, friend getting on your nerves) and list three things you are grateful for about that situation. Consider what it’s teaching you or what it kept you from.
- Do this daily and observe how you begin to view your life differently.