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How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude in 2024

Have you ever heard the phrase “attitude of gratitude”? 

It’s a popular concept that refers to the idea that cultivating a mindset of gratitude can have a transformative effect on our lives.

By focusing on the positive things in our lives and expressing gratitude for them, we can experience greater happiness, contentment, and fulfillment.

But what exactly does it mean to have an attitude of gratitude, and how can we cultivate this mindset in our daily lives? 

In this article, we’ll explore the power of gratitude and provide practical tips for cultivating a more thankful and appreciative mindset. 

From keeping a gratitude journal to practicing mindfulness and surrounding ourselves with positive influences, we’ll cover a range of strategies for developing an attitude of gratitude and reaping the many benefits that come with it. 

So whether you’re looking to improve your mental and physical health, strengthen your relationships with others, or find greater joy and contentment in your everyday life, read on to learn more about the power of gratitude and how you can cultivate it in your own life.

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gratitude

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation and thankfulness towards the good things and people in our lives. 

It’s a mindset that involves acknowledging the positive aspects of our lives and being thankful for them, regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.

At its core, gratitude is about finding joy in the present moment and recognizing our blessings. It’s a way of shifting our focus from what we don’t have to what we do have and from what’s wrong in our lives to what’s right.

The University of Pennsylvania has extensively researched gratitude and its effects on our well-being. According to their research, cultivating gratitude can positively affect our mental and physical health.

gratitude

The Benefits of Gratitude:

Practicing gratitude or having an attitude of gratitude can have numerous benefits for our physical and mental health and overall well-being. 

Improved mental health: 

Studies have shown that people who regularly practice gratitude are more likely to experience positive emotions like happiness and contentment and experience less depression, stress,  anxiety, and negative emotions.

Physical Health Benefits: 

Improved sleep

Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude regularly have better sleep quality and feel more rested in the morning. This may be because gratitude helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which can interfere with sleep.

Reduced stress

When we cultivate a grateful mindset, we can better cope with stress and challenges. This can lead to lower levels of stress and anxiety, which can positively impact our physical health.

Boosted immune system

Studies have shown that practicing gratitude can strengthen our immune system, making us less susceptible to illness and disease.

Lowered blood pressure

Expressing gratitude has been shown to lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and other health problems.

Pain management

Gratitude is an effective tool for managing chronic pain. By focusing on the positive things in our lives, we can reduce the impact of pain and improve our overall quality of life.

Better relationships 

Want strong relationships in your life?  

Making a conscious habit of expressing gratitude goes a long way and positively impacts relationships with friends, family members, or romantic partners. 

Increased resilience

Regularly expressing gratitude can help us develop the resilience to face life’s challenges.

With a gratitude mindset, replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts, we can better manage difficult situations and bounce back from adverse events. 

Improved self-esteem and a sense of purpose

Focusing on the good in our lives leaves less room for negative things that weigh us down. When our mindset is a place of abundance and love, we can find meaning and purpose in our lives. 

More Enjoyment of the present moment

When we practice gratitude, we become more aware of the good things in our lives and learn to appreciate them fully.

This, in turn, can help us stay present and mindful in each moment rather than getting caught up in regrets about the past or worries about the future.

​Negative < Positive

Negativity bias is a term used to describe the human tendency to give more weight and attention to negative experiences, thoughts, and emotions than positive ones.

This bias can manifest differently, from dwelling on past mistakes to being overly critical of ourselves and others. 

By cultivating a more positive mindset and actively seeking positive experiences and emotions, we can rewire our brains to give more weight to the good things in our lives and less to the negative.

cultivate gratitude

How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

1. Start Your Day with Gratitude

One of the most effective ways to cultivate gratitude is to start your day with it. 

Meister Eckhart said, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you,’ it will be enough.”  I love that.

This quote speaks to the power of gratitude and the idea that expressing thanks for the blessings in our lives can be a powerful form of prayer.

 It reminds us that gratitude doesn’t have to be complicated or elaborate. Sometimes, a simple “thank you” is enough to express our appreciation for all the wonderful things in our lives.

Before getting out of bed, take a few minutes to reflect on what you are thankful for big and small things.

This could be anything from having a roof over your head to having supportive friends and family.

gratitude journaling for a positive attitude of gratitude

2. Keep a Gratitude Journal

According to gratitude research, keeping a gratitude journal is another powerful way to cultivate gratitude and is a proven method to improve physical and emotional health. 

A gratitude journal can be a powerful tool for cultivating a better life. By intentionally focusing on the positive things in our lives and expressing gratitude for them, we can shift our mindset towards positivity and joy and experience the many benefits that come with it. 

Maintaining a gratitude journal is an easy way to shift your state of mind to a state of thankful appreciation.  Journaling doesn’t take much time and is more than worth the effort. 

This daily habit is worth its weight in gold X 10. I promise. 

I started my gratitude journey back in the ’90s. I can honestly say that developing a gratitude practice has changed my thinking and improved my life in many significant ways.

How to start a gratitude Journal:

To start a gratitude journal, you can set aside a few minutes each day to reflect on the blessings in your life and write them down. 

You can use a notebook or journal dedicated explicitly to gratitude or an app or website designed for gratitude journaling.

Practical tips for starting and maintaining a gratitude journal:

Set aside time each day.

Set aside a consistent time to write in your gratitude journal, such as first thing in the morning or before bed at night.

Express appreciation and Gratitude.

Make a note of the things you are grateful for.  These can be big blessings and little things.  

Focus on the present moment.

When writing in your gratitude journal, focus on the blessings in your life in the present moment rather than dwelling on past regrets or future worries.

Make it a daily habit.

To reap the benefits of gratitude journaling, making it a daily habit is essential. 

Just do it!

Even if you’ve had a bad day or are facing challenges, take a moment to reflect on the blessings in your life and write them down in your journal.

By doing so, you can cultivate gratitude and push through difficult times with strength and resilience.

positive mindset-practice mindfulness

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and engaged at the moment. When making mindfulness a regular habit, we become more aware of our thoughts, feelings, sights, sounds, and sensations around us. 

Practicing mindfulness is a sure way to cultivate a greater sense of calm, clarity, and focus.

 Here are three quick ways to practice mindfulness:

Focus on your breath

Take a few minutes to focus on your breath, noticing the sensation of air moving in and out of your body. As you do so, try to let go of distracting thoughts and be present in the moment.

Practice a body scan.

Take a few minutes to scan your body from head to toe, noticing any sensations or areas of tension. As you do so, try to observe these sensations without judgment or the need to change them.

Take a mindful walk.

Take a few minutes, and focus on the sights, sounds, and sensations around you. As you do so, try to stay present at the moment and let go of any distracting thoughts.

If you’re looking for more mindfulness resources, many great books, apps, and websites are available to help you get started. 

One excellent resource is the app Headspace, which offers guided meditations and mindfulness exercises to help you cultivate a greater sense of calm and focus.

Related: Complete Guide to Prayer Walking

cultivate gratitude

Practice Proactive Gratitude Vs. Reactive Gratitude

Reactive gratitude refers to expressing gratitude in response to something positive in our lives. 

This can include receiving a gift, experiencing kindness, or achieving a goal.

While reactive gratitude is undoubtedly positive, something must be said to cultivate a more proactive approach to gratitude. 

This means actively seeking out things to be grateful for and expressing gratitude regularly rather than only doing so in response to specific events or circumstances.

By cultivating a proactive approach to gratitude, we can shift our mindset toward positivity and joy and experience the many benefits of it. 

So the next time you feel grateful for something in your life, don’t just express that gratitude at the moment – make a conscious effort to seek out more things to be thankful for and cultivate a regular gratitude practice.

express gratitude-say thanks

4. Express Gratitude:

Expressing your gratitude to others can also help cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Take time to thank the people who have positively impacted you. 

Expressing gratitude is an essential part of cultivating an attitude of gratitude.

Here are some practical ways you can express your appreciation:

Write a thank-you note

A heartfelt note of appreciation can significantly impact someone’s day. Whether it’s a colleague who helped you with a project or a friend who listened when you needed to vent, expressing your gratitude in writing can be a powerful way to show appreciation.

I once wrote a thank you letter to one of my favorite teachers from high school.  I was surprised by his response.  He said that my letter helped him through a very challenging time.  

He said that it allowed him to reflect on positive memories, good experiences, and past blessings at a time when he was at his lowest, which strengthened him to move forward.

Say thank you in person.

Sometimes, the simplest way to express gratitude is to say thank you in person. Whether it’s thanking a barista for your morning coffee or expressing appreciation to a loved one, a sincere thank you makes a big difference.

Make a phone call.

In our digital age, it’s easy to forget the power of a phone call. Taking the time to call a friend or family member and express your gratitude can be a great way to strengthen your relationships and spread positivity.

Pay it forward

One way to express gratitude is to pay it forward. Remember that movie?!

Whether buying a coffee for the person in line behind you or volunteering your time to help others, acts of kindness can be a great way to show appreciation for the good things in your life.

Practice active listening

Sometimes, listening is the best way to express gratitude. By actively listening to the people in your life, you show them that you value their thoughts and feelings and appreciate their presence.

Offer a small gift

A small gift, like a favorite book or a homemade treat, can be a great way to show appreciation for someone in your life.

Don’t forget the little ones.

Expressing gratitude to young children is a beautiful way to bless and encourage them to express thanks and grow to be grateful and appreciative.

replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts

5. Reframe Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts can quickly overshadow feelings of gratitude.

Reframing negative thoughts and focusing on the positive is essential to cultivate gratitude. When negative thoughts arise, they are with positive thoughts.

Learning how to be a grateful person requires a mindset shift.

Practical ways to reframe your thoughts and cultivate an attitude of gratitude:

Focus on what you have, not what you lack:

Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have, try focusing on the things you do have. 

Practice positive self-talk

Our inner dialogue can significantly impact our overall mindset.

 Practice positive self-talk by journaling, using positive affirmations, and meditating on positive things rather than negative things.

Reframe negative experiences

Instead of viewing negative experiences as setbacks or failures, try reframing them as opportunities for growth and learning. 

Appreciate small moments

Enjoy the small things in your daily life. Think sunsets, flowers, clouds, children’s laughter, puppy snuggles, etc.

Practice empathy

Try putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and imagining how they might feel in a given situation. 

serving others

Serve Others

Volunteering your time to help others is an excellent way to cultivate gratitude.

Not only will you be helping those in need, but you will also gain a new perspective on life and feel more grateful for your good life.

Volunteering your time, gifts, and talents is a great way to cultivate gratitude!

Provides a sense of purpose

Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose and meaning by allowing you to give back to your community and help others in need.

This can help you appreciate the good things in your life and develop greater gratitude for what you have.

It offers a new perspective.

Volunteering can expose you to new people and experiences, giving you a new perspective on life. 

It helps you connect with others.

Volunteering can help you connect with others who share your values and interests. 

Builds self-esteem

You can develop greater self-esteem and self-worth by volunteering and positively impacting others.

This, in turn, can help you appreciate your strengths and the positive impact you can make on the world.

surround yourself with positive people

Surround Yourself with Positive Influences

Surrounding yourself with positive influences is crucial to cultivating an attitude of gratitude.

Make an effort to spend time with people who uplift and inspire you, read books and articles that promote positivity and gratitude, and avoid negative influences as much as possible.

Here are some ways that positive influences can help:

Foster a positive mindset

Surrounding yourself with positive influences can help you develop a more positive attitude and cultivate gratitude for the good things in your life.

Encourage positive behavior

Positive influences can help encourage positive behaviors and habits, such as practicing self-care or expressing gratitude to others.

Support and encouragement

Positive influences can provide support and encouragement when you need it most, helping you stay motivated and focused on the good things in your life.

Promote self-growth

Surrounding yourself with positive influences can help promote self-growth and personal development, helping you become the best version of yourself.

Here are some practical ways to seek out positive influences in your life:

  • Read uplifting books and movies/shows.
  • Watch less news. It’s so negative!
  • Listen to good music with positive messages.
  • Limit Social media. Follow only positive accounts. 
  • Spend time with positive people.
  • Join a positive community of like-minded people
attitude of gratitude-gratitude quotes

Gratitude Quotes and Affirmations

Gratitude quotes can be a powerful reminder to cultivate a grateful heart and appreciate the blessings in our lives.

These quotes remind us to cultivate gratitude in our daily lives and enjoy the blessings that surround us

Focusing on the positive things in our lives can shift our mindset towards positivity and cultivate a greater sense of gratitude and joy.

Some of my favorite quotes about Gratitude:

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” – Anonymous.

“When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out, and the tide of love rushes in.” – Kristin Armstrong.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie.

“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” – Mary Davis

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, and confusion into clarity…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

“When you are grateful, fear disappears, and abundance appears.” – Tony Robbins

 “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” William Arthur Ward

“Gratitude is a powerful antidote to negativity and discontent. It shifts your perspective and helps you focus on the good things in your life.” – Courtney Carver.

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” – Zig Ziglar

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” -John F. Kennedy.

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” -Maya Angelou.

Related article: 100+ Powerful Daily Gratitude Affirmations

Affirmations for Grateful People:

Positive affirmations can be a powerful tool to help shift your attitude towards a grateful heart.

Positive affirmations that can help you cultivate gratitude in your daily life:

  1. I am thankful for the blessings in my life, big and small.
  2. I focus on the positive things in my life and express gratitude daily.
  3. I am surrounded by love, positivity, and abundance.
  4. I am grateful for the challenges in my life, as they help me grow and learn.
  5. I am worthy of love, kindness, and gratitude.
  6. I choose to see the beauty in the world around me and express gratitude for it.
  7. I am blessed with a wonderful life and good fortune!
  8. I am grateful for the opportunities that come my way!  Better things are coming!
  9. I am grateful for my health and the ability to live a full and happy life.
  10. I choose to cultivate a grateful heart and spread positivity and love to those around me.

Conclusion: How to Cultivate Gratitude: Be a Thankful Human 🙂

Cultivating gratitude is a powerful tool for improving our mental and physical health, building stronger relationships with others, and finding greater joy and fulfillment in our lives.

By focusing on the positive things in our lives and expressing gratitude for them, we can shift our mindset toward positivity and joy and experience the many benefits of it.

Start by practicing gratitude in simple ways, such as keeping a gratitude journal, expressing thanks to those around you, and taking time each day to reflect on the blessings in your life. 

By doing so, you can shift your mindset towards gratitude and cultivate a greater sense of joy and appreciation for the many blessings in your life.

 By embracing gratitude as a way of life, we can experience greater happiness, peace, and fulfillment.

What are some ways you practice gratitude in your own life?

Have you found it a powerful tool for cultivating a happier, more fulfilling life? Leave a comment below and let us know!

I hope you have a wonderful day! 

XO, Christine

christine mathews

I’ve been keeping it real since 1963. 🙂

I’m a child of God, a wifey, mama, grandma, full-time creative, domestic engineer, and self-care enthusiast.

I am obsessed with all things makeup and skincare and love getting my hands dirty out in the garden, my art room, or in the kitchen, whipping up something yummy for the fam.

I’m always down to chat and love collaborating with other creatives and brands alike!

Feel free to reach out anytime!

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12 Comments

  1. Hi Christine!
    I enjoyed reading your post! I do try and live this way being grateful for things daily, for my life and not looking at what I don’t have. As you mentioned, it takes practice, and I like the idea of a Gratitude journal, as I am old-school and love to write things with pen and paper. I do think it leads to more peacefulness and less stress as it really is about perspective.
    Have a great week!
    jess xx
    http://www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

    1. I am old school as well! I love a good old fashioned journal and a nice pen! Practicing gratitide has been a game changer for me1. Thanks for stopping by…I’m headed to your blog now. XO

  2. Christine,

    This was a beautifully written post. I try to practice gratitude every day. Journalling does indeed help me as does mediation. Thank you for sharing.

    🙂

  3. We are all always talking about gratitude, but your post really takes it further, by sharing ways to practice gratitude. I never think to write down my thoughts. Terrific suggestions!

  4. I really like the idea of having a journal specific to gratitude journaling! Right now I just have one journal that I use for everything, but I think it would help me to have topic specific journals. And going into details about each of the gratitudes is also something I can improve on! (P.S: your site loaded instantly for me. Very pleasing!)

  5. Such a great message to spread! I make it my goal to maintain a positive attitude as much as possible! It would be great to be able to spread this concept around!

  6. Thank you , Thank you, Thank you! I don’t believe people realize the power of a grateful attitude. You can always find a little light in darkness . Such as you mentioned a butterfly landing on your hand. These are all glimpses into goodness. I enjoyed reading this and hope you left an impression on someone.

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