Gratitude is good for physical and mental health, but is it possible to incorporate it into daily life? It begins with small, intentional steps.
Bill Gran, a spiritual ministries senior consultant and pastor at the Good Samaritan Society, began incorporating gratitude into his life several years ago after listening to a speaker talk about it. The speaker mentioned a friend who replied with, “I’m grateful,” rather than “I’m fine,” when asked how she was doing.
After that day, Bill decided to focus on gratitude. He started by expressing it when greeted by co-workers. If he was having a hard day, he’d say, “I’m kind of sad today, but I’m grateful.” If something fun was happening, he’d say, “I’m really excited and grateful.”
Bill reasoned that even if hard things were happening, there were still things to be thankful for. After reading “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, he was struck by how often she talks about trust and thanksgiving. When reading Psalm 100:4, he realized worshipping God was done through thankfulness.
Around the same time, Bill was also asked to lead a retreat that centered around the book, “Attitudes of Gratitude” by M.J. Ryan. In it, she names the gifts of gratitude and how gratitude helps us feel good and increases health.
After the retreat, Bill began weaving gratitude more and more throughout his day and saw that it had a snowball effect. Today, it’s his way of life and gives him an awareness of God at work.