The First Step Toward Seeing The Miraculous in Your Life

Mike Foster

I’ve talked to a lot of people lately who have set a goal in this New Year to be more thankful; especially for the ordinary things that go unnoticed.

Like the sunshine. Or coffee. 

Author Ann Voskamp discusses this choice to be grateful for the small stuff in her book One Thousand Gifts. She says, “Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant—a seed—this plants the giant miracle.”

Photo Credit: minka6, Creative Commons

Photo Credit: minka6, Creative Commons

Gratitude is a very small action can have an enormously positive effect on our lives. Here are two ways giving a little thanks can go a long way.

Gratitude Leads To Happiness

In “The Happiness Project,” author Gretchen Rubin says:

Gratitude brings freedom from envy because when you’re grateful for what you have, you’re not consumed with wanting something different or something more.

 

When society keeps telling you to want something more, gratitude steps in and says all these great things- my stuff, my body image, my people, my life- are more than enough. Instead of wanting more, thankfulness allows us to take more joy in what we already have.

When we’re grateful, life is good. 

Gratitude Is Good For You

Did you know that studies done across the world point to the fact that thankfulness can do awesome things for your health—like boost the immune system, inspire a better diet and reduce the effects of aging? 

“Clinical trials indicate that the practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life,” says Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis, in a review by NBC News. “It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep.”

Let’s ditch all the diet fads and get gratefulness trending.

The benefits are just as good and, let’s face it, giving thanks is a lot more fun than eating salad for weeks.

Gratitude isn’t a feeling but more like an action that creates a feeling.

Sometimes it’s hard to be grateful when we’re not so happy about where we are in life so we have to make it a discipline. 

To create the habit of being thankful, try writing down what you’re grateful for. Even if it’s just one little thing each day. Because that one tiny thought can bring you the happiness you’ve been seeking. One “thank you” could have multiple health benefits.  

And that “seed” of optimism you plant in your heart will take root in your life and one-day give way to a “giant miracle.”

Mike Foster

Mike Foster

This is a post by Mike Foster, one of the Storyline Contributors. Mike is the Co-Founder of People of the Second Chance (www.SecondChance.org) and the author of an innovative small group study called "Freeway: A Not-So-Perfect Guide To Freedom." Make sure to follow along on Twitter (@mikefoster) for regular updates. To read more of his posts on the Storyline Blog, click here.

  • I’ve found having a daily gratitude practice to be fundamental to living well, especially as someone who has a chronic illness

  • “Rejoice continually, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks.” Hmm, sounds like pretty right on advice. Thanks for the reminder because though I know it some days I forget.