How to Be a More Grateful Person
July 10, 2012
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By Tonya Emmons
Everyone wants to live a joyful life. But how can we achieve it? How can we live a joyful life despite the not-so-good things that occasionally happen in our life?
An important key, I believe, is being a grateful person. If you are grateful, you will see the world differently. You will see that there are always good things behind everything that happen. You will realize that your life is wonderful, and you will be joyful.
To help you be a grateful person, here are 10 simple tips you can do:
- Realize how rich you are
Often we think that we need more and more money. This, probably, is one of the main reasons that makes us difficult to be grateful. But do you realize how rich you are now? Just go to Global Rich List, enter your annual income, and see the result. Chance is, you are richer than billions of other people. In fact, you most likely sit in the top tier of the world’s richness ranking.
- Realize what a healthy and prosperous life you have
Life expectancy in most of the human history is only 20-35 years. And most of those years were spent in diseases, poverty, and misery. Only in the last century had human life expectancy increased significantly to the current average of 67 years.
Not only that, your standard of living today is much, much higher than almost all people in the history of the world. For example, even kings in the past could not match your convenience in traveling today!
It is estimated that there are 106 billions people who have ever been born on earth, with 6 billions are living today. Combined with your answer in point 1, I would say that you are healthier and more prosperous than 99% other people in the human history! You are in the top 1% of the healthiest and most prosperous people ever born.
- Realize what a blessing it is to live in peace
No matter how rich and healthy you are, life will be full of fear and misery in the time of war. Can you imagine being in the midst of a city bombarded with bombs? Can you imagine being on the spot in Rwandan holocaust? It’s a nightmare. Living in peace is a great blessing which by itself deserves your sincerest gratitude.
- Open your eyes to see the good things in your life
We tend to see the bad things that happen in our life but overlook the good things. What a pity. Open your eyes and be observant of those good things. Even small things matter. If someone calls you a friend, that’s something you should be grateful for. If a child smiles to you, that should remind you that hope is always here in this world.
- Maintain a “good things” journal
Take one step further and write the good things that happen in your life in a journal, especially those which impress you. When life looks dark and it’s difficult for you to be grateful, open and read your journal. You will soon realize the wonderful life you have and you will get new strength to overcome your problems.
- Understand that there are positive things behind all the bad things that happen
This might be difficult for some people, but I firmly believe it. At the very least, bad things give you valuable lessons you should be grateful for. When you have this mindset, it’s not difficult to see the good things you could get out of something bad. This way you will always have reasons to be grateful.
- Have a special session of gratitude
Understanding that you should be grateful won’t help much if you don’t put it into practice. Allocate special time for your “session of gratitude” even if it’s only 5-10 minutes a day. Think about the good things that happen in your days and express your gratitude.
- Meet positive people
You will be like the people you gather with. It’s hard for you to be grateful if the people you meet all the days are negative people. Surround yourself with positive people who themselves are grateful people, and it will be much easier and natural for you to be a grateful person.
- Focus on giving
You will be grateful if your mind focuses on what you have rather than what you don’t have. By giving, your mind will focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have (you can’t give something you don’t have, can you?). Most people focus on receiving which makes their mind focus on what they don’t have. No wonder it’s difficult for them to be grateful.
- Decide to be a grateful person
The above nine tips can help you become a grateful person, but eventually it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to be one. If you decide to be a grateful person, then be it. The same thing happens otherwise. No matter what happens to you, it is still you who decide how you will respond. So make the decision to be a grateful person.
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