Learn 8 Ways To Be Thankful
“Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,
but the parent of all the others”. The English preacher
John Henry Jowett wrote, “Every virtue divorced from
thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road”.
According to Aesop Fables, “gratitude is the sign of noble
souls”. A dear professor of mine just acknowledged a thankyou
note I sent him and told me “gratitude is the sign of
maturity and wisdom”.
Therese Borchard, editor and writer specialized in stress
and anxiety, has written a great article about techniques
for how to be thankful. What could be more timely than
checking in it for Christmas season!! Here are some of the
points she wrote about in her article about the parent of all
1. It is always a matter of the heart!
Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote in “The Little Prince” - “It is
only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential
is invisible to the eye”. Every time we find ourselves caught
in stress or disappointment because things are not the
way we want them to be, we need to remind ourselves to
look with our hearts instead of our eyes! “Go home and
count your blessings” is one of the most famous quotes on
gratitude which we need to recite every single day!
2. Watch your language.
Talk to yourself in a nice positive way and do that with
others. Borchard quotes Dan Baker, Ph.D., in his book
“What Happy People Know”: “Just as changing your life can
change your language, changing your language can change
your life”. You won’t be able to be thankful if negativity is in
the way, and once you practice positive talking to yourself
and others, your perception of life will automatically alter.
Then the seeds of gratitude will start to grow.
3. Remember good deeds done to you.
Borchard quotes the French proverb “Gratitude is the
heart’s memory” and she writes that one of the first steps to
thankfulness is to remember a good deed that was done to
you. Take a step back every now and then and remember all
those who stood by you in thick and thin; remember all your
friends who helped you make that important decision, your
parents who helped you stand on your feet during a tough
time, or the angels you meet everyday who make you smile!
4. Keep a gratitude journal.
Get a journal, write down your blessings, and revisit them
especially when you are going into a destructive path. It
can enormously help you become a happier person and
even a healthier one! Results from a study conducted at
the University of California at Davis by psychologist Robert
Emmons, author of “Thanks! How the New Science of
Gratitude Can Make You Happier,” show that gratitude can
help you maintain a high energy level, can encourage you
to stay determined while following your life goals, and can
even make you sleep better while helping to conquer pain
5. Write a thank you letter.
We all have met people in our lives that have helped us
conquer a certain challenge, rise up above sadness, or get
on the right positive energy track again! More often than not,
we forget to say a proper thank you thinking that there will
always be time to be thankful in the future. We may decide
to show our gratitude through actions and not words. Guess
what? One of the best gratitude exercises suggested by Dr.
Emmons, is to compose a gratitude letter to someone who
has made a positive influence in our lives and read it out
loud face to face.
6. Pay a gratitude visit.
Even more powerful than writing a letter and reading it aloud
to someone, is visiting an important person in your life and
thanking him/her, or even talking to others about this person!
Seligman says: “We do not have a vehicle in our culture for
telling the people who mean the most to us how thankful we
are that they are on the planet”. Let us start building one!
7. Say a thank you prayer everyday.
Borchard beautifully quotes Meister Eckhart who wrote,
“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that
would suffice”. Every day is a new opportunity and a new
beginning. We need to be thankful even for our illnesses,
diseases, misunderstandings, and problems, because we
“know that in all things God works for the good of those who
love him”! Romans 8:28.
8. Pay It Forward!
A beautiful way to be thankful to God for all the blessings we
have is by passing on the good deeds to others! Giving back
doesn’t mean to return the favor to the same person that
stood by us in a difficult time. The act of kindness towards us
is a million times more meaningful and rewarding when we
return this favor by showing an act of kindness to another!
Who knows! Chances are it might very well come back right
Source: “12 ways to be thankful” by Therese J. Borchard,
thereseborchard.com , psychcentral.com