Someone with an attitude of gratitude appreciates everything in life, whether that be their relationships, their health, their business, and their overall sense of well-being. The important thing about having an attitude of gratitude is that it shifts your focus from yourself onto appreciating someone else or something else.
An attitude of gratitude means making it a conscious habit to express thankfulness and appreciation for every part of your life. Having an attitude of gratitude means you operate from a place of abundance, rather than scarcity. When you 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.
Developing an attitude of gratitude ensures you make it a habit to express appreciation and be grateful for the limitless opportunities available in your business and life. In this article I’m going to share the importance of being grateful and give you five ways on how to develop an attitude of gratitude.
Gratitude shifts your mindset. Someone who feels and expresses gratitude is thankful for what they have, and doesn’t constantly seek out more things. If you want to develop an attitude of gratitude it requires a shift to making it a daily habit to be grateful for and thankful for everything you appreciate in life.
Having gratitude is important because what you appreciate grows and increases in value. When you practice 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 feel grateful 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 express thankfulness, and be grateful for, every aspect of your life, both the things that are going well and the things that aren’t. 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 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 facilitates appreciation and thankfulness. 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 developing an attitude of gratitude include:
- Increased self-confidence and self-esteem
- Improved feelings of abundance
- Better relationships
- Increased happiness
- Increased productivity
- Less stress
- Less comparison
- More active rather than reactive
Amy Morin goes into more detail on the benefits of gratitude in her article for Forbes.
How to develop an attitude of gratitude
Here are 5 ways to develop an attitude of gratitude:
1. Appreciate everything
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. Read more tips on how to be happier.
2. Express gratitude 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. Learn more about being present.
5. Commit to a gratitude practice
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.
The simplest way to start developing 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.
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