‘Gratitude was never a noun; it’s secretly a verb.’ – Shannon Alder
The art of appreciation as the path to a happy life has gone mainstream. Scan any nonfiction bestseller list, and you’re sure to find a book or two on gratitude. Often these books have step by step instructions on how to take gratitude out of the realm of an idea and into action.
Seems kind of silly that we would need to be shown how to say ‘thank you,’ but there it is.
One such idea is a gratitude jar, which can be as simple as an empty peanut butter jar or as elaborate as a bejeweled box. The container itself doesn’t matter; it’s what’s inside that counts.
To make a gratitude jar, grab (or make) a container, and keep plenty of scraps of paper handy. Set an intention to notice what is pleasing, what goes well, or what blessings may have been there all along. Jot down these things, major or minor. Toss them in the gratitude jar. When a low mood strikes, shake out your blessings from the jar and re-read them. Ideally, then go do something for someone else. (Another powerful benefit of gratitude is to remove focus from self).
I found a site, gratitudejar.com, where visitors can anonymously post a blessing or two. This is another good way of turning gratitude from thinking into doing.
Exercise: If the idea of a gratitude jar sounds appealing, find a appropriate jar, box or bag and toss a few written blessings inside. To warm up, you can sit down with your journal and freewrite a page or two of all the things you are grateful for in this moment.