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A person with an attitude of gratitude makes it a habit to focus on expressing thankfulness and appreciation for the limitless opportunities available in their business and life. They choose to focus on being grateful and thankful for the positive things in their life rather than the negative things. People with an attitude of gratitude feel more abundant, are more grateful, are more productive and are happier.

Having an attitude of gratitude gives you the ability to transform your attitude and your mindset, by expressing thankfulness and appreciation in all parts of your life.  When you choose to cultivate an attitude of gratitude you feel happier, more positive, more compassionate and become more focused on, and grateful for, the people and things that really matter in your life.

An attitude of gratitude means making it a daily habit to be grateful for and thankful for everything you appreciate in life.  Gratitude is important because what we appreciate grows and increases in value.  Gratitude shifts your mindset.  When you practice an attitude of gratitude for your relationships, your work, your health and your mindset they become more important to you.

Practicing gratitude means that our contentment and enjoyment of the things in our life grows.  Rather than worrying about what we don’t have, we appreciate what we do have.  Being grateful improves our self-confidence, self-esteem and enhances of our enjoyment of the present moment.

When we practice gratitude daily we feel more positive and that positivity rubs off on others.  Being actively thankful for what we have helps us become more present and more intentional.

In this article I’ll share 5 ways you can cultivate an attitude of gratitude so you can have more of what matters most in your life.

What is an attitude of gratitude?

An attitude of gratitude means creating a conscious mindset and habit to be thankful, and express appreciation for, every aspect of your life, both big and small.  When you have an attitude of gratitude you are focused on expanding the positives in your life, rather than dwelling on the negatives.

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

Practicing an attitude of gratitude means having a conscious focus on everything that is positive and then expressing that gratitude in an active way.

An attitude of gratitude is a regular habit to express appreciation and thankfulness for all parts of your life, big or small.  Developing a gratitude mindset means a shift of focus from yourself to the things and people in your life that are important.

When you have a gratitude mindset you feel more confident, positive, optimistic, happy and joyful about the things you have, and the people that matter most.

This mindset reduces stress, overwhelm and frustration as you are focused on the positive, not the negative things in your life.

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Benefits of an attitude of gratitude 

Gratitude supports being happier, more joyful and more contented with life.  Practising gratitude is a proven method for increasing satisfaction, self-confidence and positivity.  Gratitude enhances feelings of excitement and enthusiasm because you feel more optimistic about the present and future.  The simple act of gratitude on a regular basis, will change your life positively and instantly, if you are active about being grateful.

Expressing gratitude daily can transform your life if you practice intentional gratitude.  Having an attitude of gratitude is about choosing to be grateful and choosing to be thankful for what you have and the people that matter.   Leo Babauta of Zen Habits talks in more detail about how gratitude can change your life.

Gratitude is a capability that can be developed if you are actively grateful.  Expressing gratitude creates an abundance mindset, rather than a scarcity mindset.  Benjamin Hardy goes into more detail about the importance of gratitude to change negative beliefs.

8 benefits of changing to a gratitude mindset include:

  • Increased self-confidence and self-esteem
  • You feel more abundant
  • People multiply in value
  • You feel healthier and happier
  • Life becomes simpler
  • Physical and mental health improves
  • You stop comparing yourself to others
  • You become more active rather than reactive

Amy Morin goes into more detail on the benefits of gratitude in her article for Forbes.

Read also:

6 ways to develop a gratitude mindset 

How to have an attitude of gratitude  

Here are 5 ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude so you can practice being grateful every day.

1. Actively look for things to appreciate  

If you want to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, actively look for things to appreciate daily.  Active gratitude is very different from reactive gratitude.

With reactive gratitude you wait for something to happen before you express appreciation or thanks.

With active gratitude you are consciously looking to be more grateful and express appreciation.  Expressing gratitude becomes a choice.

Two things happen here.  Firstly, the things and people you appreciate grow in value.  Secondly, you start seeing more things to appreciate.

The result is that you experience far more gratitude in your life which increases positivity and happiness. This positivity also draws in people who want to experience similar positivity in their lives.

2. Identify three things to be grateful for every day

We all have many things to be grateful for in life.  If you want to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, it’s important to express gratitude daily, rather than on occasion.

Developing a gratitude practice of acknowledging what you’re thankful for or appreciate every day, will expand its value.

Start with writing down or saying three things you’re grateful for or appreciate every day, even if you’ve had a bad day.  This could be by writing in a notebook, a gratitude journal or on post it notes.

It could be just sitting down with loved ones and everyone states three things they’re grateful for.

How it happens doesn’t matter.  The repeated process of expressing gratitude every day is what matters most.

This might seem strange or difficult at first, but you’ll notice after a few days and weeks it gets easier to identify and express gratitude for those three things you’re grateful for.

James Clear talks about developing the habit of stating one things you’re grateful for each day.

3. Surround yourself with gratitude mindset focused people

If you want to develop an attitude of gratitude start by surrounding yourself with people who have a gratitude mindset.

When you surround yourself with people who focus on gratitude your own gratitude and appreciation will grow.  You will feel happier, more positive, more energised and more motivated.

Conversely, if you spend lots of time with negative people or people with a scarcity mindset, you’re more likely to have a similar mindset.

Find people who are grateful and appreciative and spend more time with them.  Take your gratitude practice to the next level by sending handwritten letters or notes to those people saying how much you appreciate them.

4. Take ownership of your present  

Developing an attitude of gratitude starts with appreciating and giving thanks for what you have and where in your life you are right now.

You can take ownership of the present moment and choose to be grateful or not.

We can choose to be optimistic and positive about the present and the future or not.

When you are grateful for your present, you can reframe how you think about what’s important right now.  And what you want to be important in the future.

Instead of being negative about failures, the past or what you haven’t achieved, you reframe everything to a focus on what you have and what you’ve achieved.

When you feel gratitude, anger, guilt, self-pity and envy dissipates.  They are replaced by self-confidence, positivity and excitement.

When we feel thankful we can take the decisions, communications and actions to create the bigger future we want.

Living in the present moment, and being intentional about that moment, can transform your life.

5. Think about your thinking  

When you commit to a daily gratitude practice your mindset and thinking changes. As you are actively appreciating things that matter, you get more insight on what’s really important to you and others.

This gives you a chance to pause and think about your thinking.  You get to understand why things are important, why something is valuable to you and why certain people are important.

We get to understand why we appreciate certain things rather than others.  We get to see the positive effect of our gratitude on others.

When we practice active gratitude we aren’t being reactive.  We are choosing to do something.

This choice happens because we want to do it, and because we understand why we want to do it.

As Dan Sullivan, Founder of Strategic Coach, says “When you think about your thinking, you identify all sorts of better ways to think about things, better things to spend your time thinking about, and better things to focus your energy on.”

The next time you express gratitude for something, ask yourself “Why is that thing or person so important” and “What difference does expressing gratitude make?”.

You will start getting insights that make your gratitude practice even more powerful.

Conclusion

The simplest way to develop an attitude of gratitude is to choose to appreciate things in your life.  Start by writing down or saying three things you’re grateful for each day and go from there.

If you do this consistently, you’ll develop an active gratitude habit and your life will change.  You’ll feel happier, more positive and more excited.  Plus, the value of the people and things that matter most will appreciate in value.  A real double win.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What one thing are you grateful for?

How do you develop your own attitude for gratitude?

Let me know in the comments.

Read also:

7 ways to create an abundance mindset 

About the Author

Mark Pettit is the Founder of Lucemi Consulting and a small business coach to business owners who want to simplify their time, energy and focus so they can multiply their freedom, impact and results.

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