Are you glad that you have family or friends who are always available to help you whenever you are in need? Are you thankful for them? Well, have you ever let them know how much you value their support and presence?
Gratitude is one of the best gifts you can give back to those who have been with you through thick and thin. Your simple “thank you” has the power to make someone feel appreciated.
If you want to develop an attitude of gratitude, here are 12 ways to cultivate gratefulness and be more grateful in your life:
1. Develop the habit of saying “thank you” for everything others give or do for you.
Your “thank you” is probably the most beautiful phrase that someone could hear today so be generous in giving that out. Make it a habit to sincerely thank (with a smile) everyone who does something for you—the waiter who serves you, the cab driver who drives you home, or even the random guy who opens the door at the shop for you.
2. Send a simple appreciation card or gift as a token of your gratitude.
Showing gratitude needs not to be expensive. For example, posting a sticky note with a short thank you letter on your colleague’s computer monitor could be a heart-warming surprise for her. Or if you have the extra money, you could buy her a chocolate bar.
3. Know that the generosity or help that you receive from others have costs.
One of the ways to implant gratitude in your heart is by realizing that it costs anyone to help, serve, or give to you—even the simple favors. The neighbor who agreed to babysit your kid for an hour could have used that time for some personal errand; or the classmate who tutored you in Math could have focused more on his own review.
4. Instill in your mind that, despite hardships, there are so many reasons to celebrate life.
Gratitude is not only given to those who have helped you in some ways. It should also be given to God—for the life you live now. There may be some difficulties, but for sure, there are more blessings and positive things that you see each day. Count your blessings, especially the loved ones who continue to support you.
5. Understand that not all people receive the same opportunities you get.
Be thankful for the opportunities that you have received or will receive because some people could only wish for them. For instance, instead of wishing you could have studied in a prestigious university, be grateful for the free education in the state university where you study. What matters is that you can finish your degree and be closer to your dream.
6. Put yourself in the shoes of those who do not get thanked for their effort to help.
What would you feel if you sacrificed time, money, or effort just to help someone and you did not get a single “thank you” for it? It would make you feel taken for granted if your effort is not appreciated, especially if it cost you much. It is not about the recognition—it is about being valued.
7. Be a good steward of the things or opportunities you receive.
Gratitude can also be shown by taking good care of what has been given to you. It shows that you truly value it. For instance, if you have been granted a scholarship to study in college, then you must give your best to excel in your studies.
8. Pay the favor forward.
One beautiful way to show gratitude is to pay forward. Meaning, instead of paying back those who have blessed you (well, it is also beautiful to bless them back), you do to someone else whatever good thing that was done to you.
9. Approach people not only when you need something from them to show sincere care.
It feels bad if you are only remembered by people when they need something from you, right? The best thing you can do for the people who care about you is constantly showing your care for them too. Message or visit them whenever you can.
10. Find the chance to give back.
When time and resources permit, show your gratitude by blessing back those who have helped you. This is not paying back since you can never repay the kindness, but only a way of showing appreciation and care. Being available to them whenever they need help is one way of giving back.
11. Keep the people who have blessed you in your prayers.
You may not have the means to give back to those who support you, but there is one powerful thing you can do for them—and that is by including them in prayers. If you believe that prayer works, then praying for the people you care about is not a waste of time. Ask God to bless them more, protect them always, and give them the desires of their heart.
12. Realize that God gives you more than what you deserve.
I think the best way to develop a habit of gratitude is to remember that it is by God’s grace that you are able to live an abundant life now. God saved you from the punishment of your sins by sacrificing His Son, Jesus, on the cross (Romans 6:23, John 3:16). He has given you the free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), even if you do not deserve it, because He loves you.
Live a life with an attitude of gratitude
Being grateful for everything you have will lead to contentment, which will result in peace and joy. This will also help you keep a positive outlook in life, which is necessary for you to be strong in times of troubles.
Moreover, gratitude can open your eyes to how blessed you are for having loved ones who always got your back. In case you have overlooked this in the past, this time make more effort to show that you value them and you appreciate everything they do for you.