An attitude of gratitude. It’s one of those catchphrases or cliques that we’ve all heard. But what does it mean? And, how do we cultivate an attitude of gratitude in our own lives?
Today I will be sharing what I know based on my life experience about gratitude and how powerfully transformational it is.
I’m hoping this article will encourage you to practice gratitude, making it a daily ritual in your life.
Let’s get started.
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A thankful heart brings balance and wholeness, which leads to a rich and more authentic life. I know that’s what I want—a rich and authentic life.
What is, does an attitude of gratitude mean?
An attitude of gratitude means creating a conscious mindset and habit of being thankful and expressing appreciation for every aspect of your life daily.
What is gratitude?
By definition, gratitude is the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for, and returning kindness. Thus, synonyms for gratitude are thanks, appreciation, recognition, credit, regard, and acknowledgment.
Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings,-William Arthur Ward
turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
Why practice gratitude? Here’s what I know.
As I mentioned earlier, practicing gratitude can be powerfully transformational. Gratitude can change your life because it makes you appreciate what you have rather than what you don’t have.
Further, our overall perspective on life will improve and even change when we fill our hearts and minds with gratitude and thanksgiving. So here are some benefits of gratitude.
The benefits of gratitude:
- Gratitude and thanksgiving make us happier
- An attitude of gratitude promotes physical health
- Practicing gratitude helps with stress
- Being grateful builds confidence + self-esteem
- An attitude of gratitude helps us to be more resilient.
- Practicing gratitude can improve the quality of sleep
- Gratitude strengthens intimate relationships & friendships
- Being a thankful person will enhance your perspective
Being grateful will improve your perspective on life
Perspective is a particular attitude toward or regarding something, a point of view.
It’s been said that perspective or attitude is everything. I believe that to be 100% true. Life is sweeter when you choose to have a positive outlook. It’s more precious, and it’s easier.
The bottom line, gratitude can shift our perspective on everything.
“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
-Henry David Thoreau.
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude takes time and practice.
Practicing gratitude is just that, a practice.
Like anything else, if we want to be good at something, we need to practice. So the more we practice being grateful for the blessings in our lives, the better we get at being thankful, and it becomes second nature.
Like muscle memory, we can develop “heart memory,” too.
The more we practice gratitude in our lives, the more we walk through life with an overall attitude of gratitude.
How to have an attitude of gratitude for a happier life:
Here’s a quick outline of 5 practical ideas that you can implement in your life starting today. So start today and stay consistent. You will be so glad you did.
1. Start & Maintain a Gratitude Journal
Developing a daily habit of writing in a gratitude journal is a beautiful, life-giving ritual.
I believe writing down what you are thankful for every day has the power to transform and heal.
Maintaining a gratitude journal is worth far more than the time and 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 changed my way of thinking, which changed the very trajectory of my life. Hand to God!
How to start a gratitude journal:
- First, buy yourself a brand new journal and a nice pen.
- Then, keep your gratitude journal on your bedside table at the ready.
- Set your intention to write in your journal every day. (in the morning or at bedtime)
- Write 3-5 things for which you are grateful or-
- Write just one thing and go deep into it, adding details. (the beauty is in the details)
2. Live in the present moment
What does it mean to live in the present moment?
Being in the present moment means being in a state of awareness and mindfulness in each moment.
The past in history. It’s gone, over, and in the review mirror.
The future, tomorrow, is not promised to anyone. And if we get too far ahead, we miss today-the now. #truthbomb
Training ourselves to live in the now is key to a healthy gratitude practice.
If we are truly present in each moment, we’ve got the best chance to catch all those blessings right in front of our faces moment by moment.
3. Be Thankful on Purpose
Be thankful on purpose.
As we dwell moment by moment, we can then train ourselves on purpose to be alert with a watching eye to all the blessings surrounding us all the time, everywhere.
The more you look for blessings and beauty, the more you will see, feel, and touch—both the big blessings and the tender little mercies.
Examples of Gratitude Journal Entries:
- One of my high school friends is cancer-free!
- Hubby got the job!
- We’re going to be Grandparents again!
- A butterfly landed on my hand this morning!
- My favorite coffee mug
- Our favorite show dropped a new season
You get the idea, right?!
4. Express Gratitude and appreciation to others: Remember to say THANKS.
Just say thanks. Pretty simple, right?
Another way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude is to express your appreciation.
Saying Thank you is about more than just being polite.
When someone does something nice for you, say “Thank you.” Say ” thank you ” when you notice someone (even a stranger) being kind or doing a great job- Say “thank you.”
Expressing your thankfulness to others and being authentically thankful is powerful.
Being validated and appreciated-equally powerful.
When you take time out to say thanks, everyone wins.
5. Meditate on Affirmations of Thankfulness and Gratitude
I’m a big believer in positive quotes and affirmations. I believe they have the power to alter our mindset.
Affirmations are positive statements that can help you challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When affirmations are repeated and believed wholeheartedly, positive things happen!
One of My Favorite Gratitude Quotes:
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.— Alice Morse Earle
That is why it is called the present.”
Related article: The Benefits of Meditation for Women
Put Those Positive Affirmations Everywhere!
When you come across a positive quote or affirmation that resonates with you, write it down on a sticky note and stick it somewhere that you will see it often.
You get the idea in your car, closet, laundry room, refrigerator, and bathroom mirror.
I have a sticky note wall of positive affirmations and inspirational quotes in my office that I love. So when I’m tired, discouraged, sad, or need a minute. I can glance up and pull from my affirmations.
Related article: 100 Positive Affirmations for Women
Some final thoughts on gratitude
How to cultivate an attitude of gratitude
Gratitude helps us feel positive emotions, enjoy good experiences, improve our health, and help to build strong relationships. In summary, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Thankful people are happier. It’s science.
Check out this great article about how gratitude changes your brain. It’s fascinating.
And who doesn’t want greater happiness?
On that note, I am so thankful you are here and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. What do you think about perspective?
Do you think having a positive perspective is the same thing as having an attitude of gratitude?
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
Until next time,