Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Are you truly aware of the things in your life to be grateful for? Or are you like most people who too often think it will come from having some great luck or fortune. Of course it would feel great to win the lottery, have great friends, money, houses, travel – these are all good things, but not enough by themselves. The right frame of mind is necessary to fully enjoy life. You need to practice the attitude of gratitude.
What is Gratitude?
Your life is better when you feel blessed, when you can look around and say “Thank you, God,” or “Thank you universe.” Whether or not you are religious, when you see life as a wonderful gift, your experience is a richer one. Imagine going through life like you’re a child, and every morning is Christmas. Remember the excitement of waking up and wondering what wonderful gifts were under the tree? You can experience that each day when you have an attitude of gratitude. When life is seen as a gift, is becomes easy to be grateful for it.
Gratitude does not come only when we get what we want. The attitude of gratitude comes from when you are grateful for what you have, in this moment. Your family, your health, your job, whatever you have. But where does this feeling come from? I’m sure you have seen people in worse situations than yourself that had the attitude of gratitude. They are able to practice an attitude of gratitude because of their frame of mind. They appreciate life and what they have instead of dwelling on the future and what they don’t have.
The attitude of gratitude comes from how you look at things; from within you. It is the natural feeling that comes when you recognize the real value of the people and things in your life. Focus on the good and you cannot help but have a better attitude. Gratitude, like most feelings, is something you can encourage, something you can learn to control. Here are three simple steps to promote the attitude in your life.
- Stop and smell the roses. Slow down and realize what you have. How can you be thankful for something you don’t notice or enjoy? By the way, roses really do smell great.
- Make this appreciative approach to roses and life a habit. You don’t need to ignore the ugliness in the world. Just consciously choose to see the good and beautiful things, until doing so becomes automatic. One way to encourage this habit is to start writing down every positive thing that happens to you, and all the things you like. Continue this until you start automatically seeing the good things in life. If you’ve ever bought a white car, and started seeing white cars all over, you know how awareness and focus can alter your perception of reality. In the same way, once you are aware of the good, and start looking for it, you’ll start to see wonderful things all over.
- State what you grateful for. Words, either spoken or thought, have great impact on your feelings. To help create the feeling, speak the words. Say “I am grateful for my family”, “I am grateful for my garden” or “I am grateful that I am healthy”. Whatever you grateful for, speak it.
Simple exercises like the one above train your mind with time. All feelings, good or bad, come from your thoughts. When you are in the habit of “counting your blessings,” gratitude, and a much richer experience of life is the natural result. Then, you will have an attitude of gratitude.
Let me know how are doing practicing an attitude of gratitude in the comments below.