“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”
What is gratitude?
According to Oxford Languages, gratitude is the quality of being thankful or readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness. Most importantly, gratitude is a Christian virtue. It helps us love more deeply and be more present to the Holy Spirit at work in the world.
“Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides. […] When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and in the past few days, it is hard not to be humbled, and pleased to give back. […] The movement of grace towards gratitude brings us from the package of self-obsessed madness to a spiritual awakening. Gratitude is peace.”
–Anne Lamott, Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers
Why is practicing gratitude important?
Evidence-based research has suggested that gratitude:
1. Drives out toxic emotions such as anger and envy
2. Reduces stress and increases relaxation
3. Promotes resistance to common illnesses
4. Increases self-esteem, willpower, and creativity
5. Deepens relationships and spirituality
6. Improves athletic and academic performance
7. It increases generosity—grateful people give more of their time, talent, and treasure to their communities
How do I practice gratitude?
Write a Letter
Feeling extra grateful for someone today? Write them a letter and let them know.
Go for a Gratitude Walk
Take a walk. Notice the beauty around you and within you. Give thanks for what you see and how you feel.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Write down 3 things you’re grateful for every day