The Power of Gratitude

Accessing the Power of Gratitude

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, family, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. I’m also grateful for you. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

  • Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
  • Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
  • Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.
  • Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
  • When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
  • Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

And when it comes to food, I’m grateful for this simple, but tasty recipe:

Cranberry Love

A Cravin’ for Cranberry Sauce

It isn’t just for the holidays, but since the Canadian Thanksgiving is right around the corner, well, why not! This sauce is wonderful on its own, but also goes great with some nut butter on a nice vegan bun, or some toast. It’s tangy, yet sweet with just enough kick!

Stuff you Need:

1 bag of cranberries (frozen or thawed)

1 cup of sugar (we use organic coconut or pure cane sugar)

1 cup of Port (this is optional, but it does give the sauce an added layer of flavour)

Zest of 1 orange

1 orange juiced

Get her Done Directions:

  • Add all the ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil on high heat
  • Reduce heat and simmer while mashing the mixture with a potato masher

Makes 3-4 cups

This freezes really well


Just sayin’ is all.

By Lou Hooper


Lou-Anne Hooper

New-to-Veganism Neighbourhood | Facebook


For more information on my online course for new and/or struggling vegans entitled, “The Vegan Journey: A Beginner’s Pathway (tips/tools/support)”, please click on the Vegan Support Pathway in the menu above.