3 Ways to Foster a Habit of Gratitude

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November 27, 2014

I love my church. I don't talk about my faith much on this blog just because I generally view religion as a private thing (but not a secret!). I go to a very small (think 50 people) Lutheran church twice a week, once for a service and brunch and once for community with other college students. If you're not familiar with churches, specifically Christian churches, the reverend or pastor will give a short message (at my church, it's about 15-20 minutes) using verses from the Bible. Sometimes, it's theological teaching, but other times it's simply practical tips on living better. Last week, in preparation for Thanksgiving, our priest talked about three habits you can make to practice gratitude and, as he said, change your life. 

And so, very quickly, since I want to get back to my family (and hello, the food!), I wanted to share these three practices with you.

Testimony of thankfulness // Testimony is sort of a church word (or an infomercial word!) but it really just means a story of how someone has affected you. I challenge you to write a short testimony (but at least a paragraph or two) about someone who has positively affected you in your life. Then, (this is the tough part) you have to call up that person, meet with them in person if possible and read it to them.

Blessing Bowl // Find a spot on your desk or bathroom counter and place a bowl/bottle/jar and blank slips of paper. Every time you pass by the bowl, you must write down something you're thankful for and place the slip in the jar. 

Use a gratitude app // There's a huge variety of options out there, but my favorite so far is called Day One. Or, you can be a little more minimalist and either keep an ongoing list in your notes app of your phone. Finally, if you like pen and paper (like me!), you can set an alarm each day and write in a gratitude journal. Sometimes I also just journal right when I get up or before I go to bed.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!! Have a wonderful day with your family and don't be in too big of a rush for it to be over so Black Friday can be here! :)

How do you stay thankful? 

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