HNH Journey: Habit 2: Actively Practicing Gratitude

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Hello Friends and Happy Spring! I hope this post finds you well hydrated and cheerful.

I’ve chosen ‘Outlook’ as the category for our next HNH habit - Actively Practicing Gratitude. If you’re new, click here to learn what the Happy N Healthy Journey is all about.

Two people can be presented with the same obstacle - one may view it as a problem or ending while the other sees it as a blessing or opportunity. It can be difficult to always see the glass half full. I’m certain that we’ve all experienced moments of self-pitty, despair, and doubt; however, in hindsight, frequently these moments become turning points leading us to something new and great!

We have the ability to train ourselves to shape our outlook and control our reactions so that we can limit our time spent worrying and experiencing hindsight. Our individual happiness and quality of life will grow bounds as we become able to consistently choose a gracious and positive outlook when approaching the situations life presents to each of us.

So how does one bring the phrase ‘Start each day with a grateful heart’ into action? Try any of the following suggestions. The key is consistency and awareness.

  • Journaling- keeping a log of God’s works in your life. How quickly we tend to forget the things God has provided us with - successes, healing, timing and opportunities, relationships, etc.. Maintaining a journal gives you a way to physically see and reflect on what’s been given to you and what you’ve accomplished.

    • Your journal can be electronic or physical - as simple as pages with dates and bulleted lists. Journaling doesn’t need to take more than 5 minutes each day. You may choose to journal at the day’s beginning, its end, or as you’re experiencing it.

  • Written and Verbal Expressions- Share your gratitude with others. Give recognition when it is due - no matter the size of the gesture. This may be a verbal explanation given face-to-face, an electronic message or post, or written as a card or note - any method will brighten the day of the receiver.

  • Pause and Ask Questions Before Reacting- When an (undesired) situation presents, consider alternative perceptions and angles. Choose to assume the best in others and recognize their talents. Collect information before taking action.

  • Pray and Talk to God- You may be alone and whisper his name and express thanks throughout each day or with loved ones expressing thanks before a meal - He’s always present and listening.

In addition to your hydration habit, I challenge you to take time each week and eventually each day - to recognize and express thanks to God and to people in your life. Allow your recognition for positive things around you to shape your actions and mindset. This will certainly have a powerful impact on how you make others feel and how they perceive you.

Wishing you Joy today!