Researchers conducted a study with two groups of people, both were assigned the task of keeping a daily list. Group A made a list of everything they were grateful for. Group B made a list of everything they were frustrated about.
It didn’t take long to see a dramatic difference between the two groups of people. Joy, happiness and energy skyrocketed for the gratitude group and plummeted for the frustration group. Science proves it really is quite simple – what you focus on determines your level of joy.
We want to challenge you to join us in using the very practical, tangible tool of a daily gratitude list.
There really are no rules. You can use a scrap of paper, a leather bound journal, a spiral notebook or your smart phone. You can do it first thing in the morning, before your go to sleep or all throughout the day. Just start counting things you are grateful for.
Nothing is too small to record and you can list the same things over and over – things like waking up in the morning to watch the sun rise, eating your favorite meal, or completing a challenging project.
Soon you’ll begin to notice everything, like a good parking spot, rain filling our lakes, a kind word and a friendly smile as an expression of God’s love for you.
In making a conscious effort to express gratitude you’ll find what you appreciate appreciates – things you take note of and give thanks for will grow in value.
Developing a habit of gratitude will require learning to be grateful for flawed people and imperfect gifts. Nothing is ever perfect, give thanks anyway. Write those things down too!
Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18 AMP
For a wonderful read and more inspiration to record your own daily gratitude list, pick up a copy of One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
Increase the joy in your life by developing the disciple of gratitude.
This post originally appeared in a 2015 series on Gratitude, click below to read the entire series:
Live in the Moment
Who, What and When
Gratitude Destroys Joy Killers
The Year of Gratitude
Make a Daily Gratitude List
Grateful for the Leftovers