FENSKE: Being grateful is a key to happiness

Catherine Fenske
Free Press Health Columnist
Catherine Fenske
Staff Photo |

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was ‘thank you,’ that would suffice. — Meister Eckahart

As the Thanksgiving holiday draws nearer, it is a good time to start reflecting on the blessings that you have received over the past year. Gratitude, as defined in Wikipedia, is “the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.” Being grateful for all that you have is the key to happiness. What better time to be aware of gratitude than in this season of Thanksgiving!

What are you grateful for? Why show gratitude? Maybe you could look at it as being a guest in this big house we call our world. You’ve been invited by life to participate and live for a while. You don’t know for how long so you must appreciate and be grateful for all you see, do and have in order for your time here to be joyful and meaningful.

Recognizing the blessings in your life and being grateful for each of them increases your awareness and appreciation. Expressing your gratitude improves your quality of life because it leads to positive emotions. When you start living from an attitude of gratitude, you grow in awareness of appreciation for what you have and stop focusing on what you don’t have. And guess what…you will activate the Law of Attraction to draw to you more of what you have and desire!

Start by developing an awareness of appreciating small, everyday experiences. For example, be appreciative of a good night’s sleep when you wake, or a beautiful sunrise or just that you woke up and have another 24 hours to develop appreciation! Instead of getting frustrated because you hit all the red lights on the way to work, be appreciative of the one green one! Look for things to be grateful for. Once you develop this appreciation you will find infinite things to be thankful for.

Also, a lot of times what you may think is not a blessing may in fact be one of the biggest blessings of your day. If you can see every person, situation or experience as a gift, even the painful, frustrating, anger-provoking ones, you will begin to see the blessing in all things. Contained in each experience you have is a lesson, whether you recognize it as such or not. If you are willing to look at it this way, you will appreciate and be grateful for what you learned from it. You will have more peace in your life. Gratitude results in not having expectations and truly finding joy in whatever happens to come your way.

One of the ways I use to stay in an attitude of gratitude and one of the tools I share with my clients is a gratitude book or journal. I keep it on my nightstand and almost every night before I go to sleep I write down five things I am grateful for that day. It ends my day with appreciation and a sense of well-being.

As you go about your week practice gratitude every moment you can. I invite you to become a “gratitude model.” It will attract others to you and improve your overall attitude about life and living. It will bring more of what you want, of what you are grateful for, into your life. And it’s free and easy! A simple mind shift … what could be better?

I am so grateful to all of you who read my articles every week and share them. I am especially grateful to Spirit who makes it all happen, who brings my light to you. I am so grateful for the life I’ve been given and for all the people in it. Thank you!

Catherine Fenske is the owner of Live With Intention Coaching. She is spiritual counselor/teacher, certified life coach, Reiki master/teacher. Catherine can be reached at 970-640-6987 or email at Visit or her blog at

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