Power of Gratitude

It is not happy people that are grateful, it is grateful people that are happy.

In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook the good in our lives. We often focus on what we lack, rather than appreciating what we have. This simple yet powerful statement highlights the transformative power of gratitude.  It suggests that happiness doesn’t lead to gratitude, but rather, gratitude cultivates happiness.

My reminder to myself, it is not other people’s job to make me happy.  It is my responsibility.  When I start looking for outward things to make me happy it reminds me to turn inward and celebrate and be thankful for what I have or what someone has done for me.  This fills my cup, causes me to smile and breathe deeply and the feelings of happiness start to spread.


Let’s start with an easy example – dogs.   Any dog owners?  When you train a dog, you give them a treat as a reward representing your gratitude and appreciation for their behavior (even in the beginning when their behavior is not quite right yet).  With practice and rewards your dog starts to master the behavior.

People also do more of what you thank them for.   In my relationships, I have found that if I focus on pointing out everything my partner, friend or coworker does not do, they tend to do more of that – nothing!  But if I thank them for doing something and express real appreciation and gratitude, they tend to do that more often!  Try it, even if you think they “should” be doing it anyway.  Find things throughout the day to thank you partner for.   See what happens!

Here are 3 attitude of gratitude practices I have incorporated into my life.

  1. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t. Energy flows where attention goes.
  2. Be still, look around and remember to appreciate the little things.
  3. Thank others. Pass it on.

Gratitude is more than just saying ‘thank you.’  It’s a state of mind that arises from acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of life. It’s about focusing on the abundance rather than the lack.

It’s a mindset that triggers the release of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin, which enhance our mood. It can strengthen our relationships, enhance our resilience, and even boost our career success. It has been linked to increased happiness, reduced depression, and improved sleep. It can also boost our immune system and lower our blood pressure by reducing stress hormones and promoting relaxation.

Focus on What You Have

Gratitude is about appreciating what we have, rather than longing for what we don’t. It’s about recognizing the good in our lives and acknowledging the kindness of others. When we practice gratitude, we shift our focus from our problems to our blessings, fostering a sense of contentment and joy.

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. – Zig Ziglar

This doesn’t mean that grateful people don’t face challenges or hardships. However, they approach these difficulties with a positive perspective, finding things to be grateful for even in tough times. This attitude helps them maintain their happiness and resilience, regardless of their circumstances.

Appreciate the Little Things

In our hectic lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the never-ending to-do lists. Often we miss and are ungrateful for what is right in front of us.

Gratitude is the bridge that connects us to the present moment.

I often just sit outside (in my favorite hanging porch swing) and be still.  I allow myself to observe my surroundings, whether it’s the vibrant colors of flowers, sounds of nature, the movement of water, the pattern a bird flies.  I take in everything I see, hear, and smell. I embrace the stillness. This practice of mindfulness brings a deeper appreciation for the simple joys in life.

Pass it on!

Why wait? Send an Amazon gift card now as a Thank you!

Expressing gratitude to others is also crucial. It not only makes others feel appreciated but also enhances our own sense of gratitude. There are many ways to express gratitude to others.  From something as easy as just saying thank you to a simple yet powerful method of writing thank-you notes. These notes can convey our appreciation for others’ kindness, making them feel valued and us feel grateful.  I have done this many times and have been pleasantly surprised by the response (when I was not expecting anything).

Try saying thank you to yourself and others as often as you can during the day. As you recognize the things to be thankful for you will start to see others and have even more to be grateful for.

Your Turn

If you’re seeking happiness and productive relationships, start by cultivating gratitude. Appreciate the big and small blessings in your life. Embrace the beauty in each moment. Express your thanks to others. You’ll find that as your sense of gratitude deepens, so does your happiness. After all, it’s not happy people who are grateful, but grateful people who are truly happy.

Here are some journaling prompts to help you explore what you can be grateful for filling your cup.

  1. What is something small that happened today that I am grateful for?
  2. Who is someone in my life that I am deeply grateful for and why?
  3. What is a challenge I faced that I am now grateful for?
  4. What is something about my home or surroundings that I am grateful for?
  5. What is something I am looking forward to that I am grateful for?
  6. Who is someone I can thank for something they have done?
  7. What are ways I can start incorporating gratitude to show my appreciation.

Remember, practicing gratitude can help shift your focus from what’s lacking in your life to what’s abundant, fostering a sense of contentment and happiness.

5-Minute Cup Filler Exercise

Here is a 5-minute daily exercise to develop your skills around harnessing your attitude of gratitude to train your brain to focus on the positive aspects of our lives.

Think back over the last 24 hours, set a timer for 3-Minutes and write down as many things as you can that you are grateful for.   Take the remaining time to identify actions you can take to show your appreciation.

BECOME AWARE:  Name as many things as you can you are grateful for and why.

TAKE ACTION: What actions you can take to show your gratitude?

Choose to commit to repeat daily until you build your attitude of gratitude, and it becomes natural!

Jen Weis

The publisher of Morning Cup.