An Attitude of Gratitude

Why an Attitude of Gratitude?Gratitude brings Happiness

A great way improve your happiness and success in your life is to practice gratitude daily. 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.

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.  There are entire corporate training programs that tell you to define your strengths and weaknesses.  Then focus on improving what you are NOT good at.  For gratitude to meet its full 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, and create a new habit. And that can take some time.

What is Gratitude

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. Begin by being thankful for what you have now, your family and friends, where you live, how you travel everything you have in your life.

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, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, family, our health, sunsets. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

  • Write in a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. The more frequently you write in your journal is 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. Every morning I write in my gratitude journal before I start my day, it makes for a fabulous start to my day.
  • Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures or adding to your vision board.
  • Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine. I end my days by writing down 3 things that I am grateful for in my life today.
  • Make a habit of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation. What lesson can be learned?  What positive take away can be found in the challenge? The more you focus on what can be learned from the challenge the easier it is to move beyond the challenge.
  • 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.

What Next

As you practice gratitudeBe Grateful, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how happy and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work. Continue to create habits that make you feel grateful for all the blessings in your life. The more you practice and make gratitude a habit the happier you will be.