Fostering an Attitude of Gratitude

Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Being grateful for what you have, is a quick way to shift your perspective in life. Most negative attitudes are grounded in self-pity - the 'woe is me' mantra. If you are living with a mindset of appreciation, it is impossible for self-pity to thrive.

Update -- while listening to an audio of Abraham, they drew a distinction between gratitude and appreciation. Gratitude isn't as strong as appreciation in terms of the vibe you give off. So, whilst in this article I talk about an attitude of gratitude, it might be more powerful to think of it as having an attitude of appreciation!

In fact feeling appreciative can have a profound impact on your physiology. Try this for a moment. Stop, close your eyes for a few seconds, and think of someone, or something, that you could appreciate. Did you notice that your breathing changed and that life seemed to slow for those few moments? Do you now have a smile on your face and generally feel better about life?!

Here is a terrific video from the gratidudes, which is sure to get you inspired and feeling frisky, before you read the rest of this attitude of gratitude article:

Here are a few tips on how you can keep an attitude of appreciation mindset in your life.

Keep An Appreciation Journal

At the end of each day jot down at least 5 things which were a magic moment and which you appreciate. It could be as simple as:

  • A smile from the cashier at your local supermarket,
  • A delicious meal or snack,
  • Writing or receiving a letter,
  • Finding a parking spot right were you wanted it,
  • A painting from your child,
  • A phone call from a treasured friend,
  • Blue skies,
  • A toothless grin from your baby,
  • Uplifting conversation,
  • A new bloom in the garden,
  • A joke someone told at work.

On days when you are feeling the blues, grab your appreciation journal and re-read it. You will feel better almost immediately.

Be Grateful for the Not So Good

That's right! Be grateful for the tough times. For example, you may be upset because your boss isn't providing you with the emotional support you want right now. But you could appreciate that you are learning to support yourself. You may be cross because your team members are nagging at you and under-performing. You could though, chose to appreciate that you are your learning to be patient and focused on bringing out the best, even under stress. (Get tips on how to deal with difficult people)

Stop Complaining

Commit to yourself that you will quit whinging. Ask your friends to work with you to live in an attitude of gratitude, by agreeing that you will no longer spend time complaining. You may find initially that there are long periods of silence - at which point you will see how much of your life is spent focused on the negative.

If the people around you constantly focus on the negative, be an inspiration to them, by re-directing the conversation, asking them to think about the positive in the situation. They may at first look somewhat askance at you, but over time, they will certainly stop complaining to you, because you aren't feeding their misery.

Read more about why it is important to be careful about what you talk about and focus upon.

Look For Things To Appreciate

People are so conditioned to focus on the negative, that it becomes far to easy to overlook all the positive.

There is a terrific saying, "A man who has no shoes can be glad he has feet!" You see you can choose to focus on the fact that you have no shoes, or you could choose to be extremely grateful that you have feet to walk with. You can choose to be cross that you have cellulite on your thighs, or you can appreciate that your legs can carry you throughout your day.

An exercise for you!

Stop now, before you go any further and think of three things, which you appreciate about your workplace.

I hope you have three things, take a moment now to have a look at this list - even if you couldn't think of three things - this may well prompt you to be able to find an attitude of gratitude for your workplace:

  • Who lightened your load for awhile so you could focus on other issues (work or personal)?
  • Who covered for you, and helped make your work easier?
  • Who protected you from work politics?
  • Who spoke up with you, and supported your point of view?
  • Who acknowledged your efforts?
  • Who spoke up for you when, you weren't there to represent yourself?
  • Who has shown trust in you?
  • Who believed in your capability, more than you believed in yourself?
  • Who asked your opinion?
  • Who has made you laugh recently?
  • Who has offered you opportunities you may not otherwise have had?
  • Who included you?
  • Who let you know they value your work?
  • Who makes it possible for you to do what you do?
  • Who did you take for granted that deserves your thanks?

Does this simple exercise, stir better feelings within you? When you feel better, you perform better.

Send Thank You Notes

How often have you ever said "thanks" to each, or any, of the people from your list above? If you want more of it, then maybe you need to let them know. Sometimes people may not know that their actions have had a positive impact on you, and if you don't tell them, they may stop doing it.

It is even more powerful if you post the note. Most people these days only get bills and junk mail. To receive a note of appreciation in the mail will definitely brighten someone's day, and the great thing is that it will brighten your day too, as you write it and think of how the person will respond when they receive it.

Here are some sample Appreciation Letters

Once you start to take note, you will (re-)discover how precious our lives are and just how much we can appreciate each and every day. An attitude of gratitude is simply the best way to live! And in so doing you will live a much happier and more fulfilled life.

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