A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.
When your heart is full of love and thankfulness for the things that you have, for the things that are in your life, you will not need anything else. And that is why, anything amazing that comes your way, will catch you off guard. It will surprise you, for you aren’t really looking for it to happen.
Countless research studies in the field of positive psychology, have been underscoring the role of gratitude in leading a happier life. How can being grateful improve our lives? Here is a list of all the good things that come as a result of being grateful:
Why should you practice gratitude? How does being grateful enhance our lives?
- Gratitude is consistently associated with greater happiness and aids people in feeling more positive emotions.
- By being grateful you learn to relish good experiences and also to effectively deal with adversity.
- Grateful people also tend to be pro-social and understand the importance of giving.
- By practicing gratitude you also build strong relationships, not just with others but also with yourself.
- Being grateful also has an impact on your physical well-being, and can even improve your physical health. It can reduce depression, lower blood pressure, and increase the production of neurotransmitters like Serotonin and Dopamine, which are associated with better moods.
How can you practice gratitude? Can you learn to be more grateful?
The key to becoming more grateful and appreciative of the things you have in life is to practice it deliberately until it comes naturally to you. Look for things you are grateful for and identify them rightly.
You can try maintaining a gratitude journal where you will record everything you are thankful for. No matter how small and inconsequential it may seem, jot it down.
One practice that has been shown to inculcate gratitude in people, is to build what is known as a gratitude jar. It is quite similar to maintaining a gratitude journal, except it is a lot more fun and interesting!
It is also super simple to make and maintain, so you need to try it. Here’s all you need to know about a gratitude jar.
What is a gratitude jar?
A gratitude jar is exactly what it means. But, no, it is not a jar that expresses its gratitude to you, no. It is a jar that helps you express your gratitude. Your gratitude, for the people, for love, for things, for a small incident that day, anything.
It looks exactly like a jar, a glass jar. So, pick a glass jar from near you, that you think would suit this purpose and turn it into your gratitude jar. What you do with this jar is, add pieces of paper that contain details of what you are grateful for.
Neatly fold these pieces and add them to the jar regularly. As time goes by, you will have a jar full of blessings that have been bestowed upon you.
Why should you have a gratitude jar?
A gratitude jar helps build thankfulness in you. And thankfulness is a wonderful quality. Some obvious reasons why you should maintain a gratitude jar were listed earlier. Practicing gratitude keeps you happy, lets you deal with adversities in life easier, and also has a multitude of positive effects on your physical health.
Apart from these, why do you need to maintain a gratitude jar? You must have heard the saying, ‘Count your blessings.’ You need to understand that you have to be grateful for the things that happen in your life.
It shows that you are not taking any blessing in your life for granted. It shows that you value your blessings and are not ungrateful or indifferent towards them. It is important to be humble. And having a gratitude jar instills this in you.
How do you make a gratitude jar?
Making a gratitude jar is so much fun and can be done with little effort. Of course, if you would like to add things to make it a lot more beautiful, you may.
Firstly, you will need a jar. Any jar, glass, or even plastic would do. The jar can be of any size, any shape, all it has to do is hold the pieces of paper. You can also spruce up the jar by adding decorations or colors as you like. Paint the jar. One more idea is to tie a pretty ribbon around its neck.
You can also make sure you have a set of small papers next to your jar so you don’t have to search for them when you are about to add. These papers can be colorful ones, that come from a sticky note or even plain white paper would do.
Make sure your jar has a lid that can safely keep all your blessings inside and voila! Your gratitude jar is ready.
Who can have a gratitude jar?
Basically, anyone who wants to have a gratitude jar can have one. Even if you think you are grateful enough already, it is no harm to maintain a gratitude jar and keep track of all your blessings.
But others who are looking for ways to be more grateful and aware of their blessings can definitely try having a gratitude jar. Parents can also inculcate this habit in their kids by setting up a jar for them and asking them to add the things that they are grateful for, every day.
Having a gratitude jar puts everything in a different perspective and if you haven’t started this yet, you need to consider setting up one.
When do you add to your gratitude jar?
When you decide to add notes/ the pieces of paper containing your blessings are completely up to you. You can add one thing you are grateful for every day, at night, at the end of your day. Or you may add things as and when the feeling of being grateful for something hits you and you realize it.
It is a personal and subjective habit that you need to practice in a way, that you feel the most comfortable.
I, for one, add at least one thing that I’m grateful for every night before I go to bed. I engage in a sort of recap of the events of the day and identify the moments that truly stuck with me, moments that really made me feel loved and thankful for their occurrence.
I jot it down on the chit and add a tiny relevant graphic next to it and add it to my jar. Adding in the mornings could work too.
You may not even have to add your blessings every day. If you want a longer duration you can choose to do it on a weekly basis and add things you are grateful for that come your way, at the end of every week.
Regardless of when you do it, thinking about these moments and recalling them so as to preserve them is a fulfilling act in itself and brings immense joy.
Where can you keep the gratitude jar?
Usually, your gratitude jar can be kept in some space that is private and exclusive to you. This may be a space on your desk, next to your books and belongings. Or you can keep your jar next to your bed. Make sure to also keep a stack of small papers next to the jar, to make things easier for you.
The very idea of a gratitude jar is thrilling because it feels great to know that there is a jar that is full of the blessings and wonderful things that have happened to you. A jar full of joy, that only keeps filling up with every passing day!
Being grateful is something that we all need to practice abundantly and regularly, because only by being grateful can we truly be happy. Because when we are grateful and truly appreciate the things we have, happiness will always remain.
It will remain because it will be established and it will come from within. And be it peace, happiness, or a sense of security, it will truly last when it comes from within, when it comes from inside, free of dependence or reliance on any external factors.
Practice gratitude and be thankful for what you have. If you are grateful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. Instead, if you focus on what you don’t have, or on what you lack, you will never have enough.
You will never be able to be truly happy. Practice gratitude relentlessly because it has the power to turn what we already have into enough. It can transform small things into great things. And you will learn that the little things aren’t so little after all.
Related article: 5 reasons to start practicing gratitude