Are you looking for a little more joy in your life right now? Try gratitude.
“In my 12 years of research on 11,000 pieces of data, I did not interview one person who had described themselves as joyful, who also did not actively practice gratitude,” writes Brene Brown, the University of Texas sociologist and motivational speaker (who also happens to be Episcopalian!). “For me it was very counterintuitive because I went into the research thinking that the relationship between joy and gratitude was: if you are joyful, you should be grateful. But it wasn’t that way at all. Instead, practicing gratitude invites joy into our lives.”

Brene continues: “Practice is the part that really changed my life, that really changed my family and the way we live every day. When I say practice gratitude, I don’t mean “the-attitude-of-gratitude” or feeling grateful, I mean practicing gratitude.”

How might you and I practice gratitude? Here are a few ideas:
  • Start a gratitude journal. Write down three things for which you are grateful each day. Small, trivial gratitudes are welcome. (Sometimes, I am grateful for the half-and-half in my morning coffee!)
  • Before each meal, invite members of your family to share something for which they are grateful. Even on busy, crazy days, pause and ask each person: for what are you grateful?
  • Try refreshing your day with a gratitude walk. What do you see, notice, hear, or experience? Be aware of animals, the colors of the flowers and trees, the sounds you hear, and the smells you observe. Notice how your feet feel when you step onto the ground. Who are the people you encounter?



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