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How to Cultivate an attitude of gratitude for a happier life

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.

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.

Let’s get started.

A thankful heart brings balance and wholeness, which leads to a rich and more authentic life.

an attitude of gratitude

What is does an attitude of gratitude mean?

An attitude of gratitude means creating a conscious mindset and habit to be thankful and express 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, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
-William Arthur Ward

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, when we fill our hearts and minds with gratitude and thanksgiving, our overall perspective on life itself will improve and even change. Here are some benefits of gratitude.

The benefits of gratitude:

  • Gratitude and thanksgiving makes us happier
  • An attitude of gratitude promotes physical health
  • Practicing gratitude helps with stress
  • Being grateful builds convidence + self esteme
  • An attitude of gratitude helps us to be more resilient.
  • Practicing gratitude can improve quality of sleep
  • Gratitude stengthens intimate realationships & friendships
  • Being a thankful person will improve your perspective

Being thankful will improve your perspective on life

Perspective is defined as a particular attitude toward or way of 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.

an attitude of gratitude-how to start a gratitude journal

1. Start & Maintain a Gratitude Journal

Developing a daily habit of writing in a gratitude journal is a beautiful and 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 it takes. 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: 

  • Buy yourself a brand new journal and a nice pen.
  • Keep your 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)

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”
— Alice Morse Earle

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.

an attitude of gratitude -me time in the morning

The past in history. It’s gone, over, and in the review. The future, tomorrow, well, it’s simply 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 purposeful and alert with a watchful eye

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 are on the lookout for the blessings, the beauty the more you will see and feel and touch—both the big blessings the tender little mercies.

Examples of gratitude journal entries both big and small:

Big blessings:

  • One of my high school friends is cancer free!
  • Hubby got the job!
  • We’re going to be Grandparents again!

Tender little mercies:

  • A butterfly landed on my hand this morning!
  • Some much needed me time this morning
  • Our favorite show dropped a new season

You get the idea, right?!

how to cultivate an attitude of gratitude

4. Express gratitude and appreciation to others: Remember to say THANKS.

Another way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude is to express your appreciation. When someone does something nice for you- no matter how small, 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 Positive Affirmations of Thankfulness

I’m a big believer in positive quotes and affirmations. I believe they have the power to alter our mindset.

By definition, 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!

self-love affirmations-affirmation wall

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.

Bathroom mirror, in your car, closet, laundry room, refrigerator- You get the idea.  

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 Articles:
100 Positive Affirmations to start the day
100 Of My Favorite Self-love Affirmations

Want to learn more about how to practice gratitude every single day? Check out this article!

Some final thoughts

How to cultivate an attitude of gratitude

Gratitude helps us feel positive emotions, enjoy good experiences, improve health, and help us 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,

XO, Christine

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11 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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