An Attitude of Gratitude Can Change Your Life
It’s quite a big statement, that an attitude of gratitude can change your life, don’t you think? I want us to start taking gratitude seriously. It’s time to stop seeing it as a token of appreciation and start seeing it as a powerful mindset for change. We look at the world around us and life feels heavy on our shoulders. We worry for things that have not yet happened, fear for what ‘may’ come to pass. Why do we focus on all the things that make knots in our stomachs? Why do we stew in our own fears? What if we looked at life from a different, more positive, perspective? What if we saw all the blessings and the good in our lives? If we live our lives with an attitude of gratitude, don’t you think it would change our perspectives for the better?
It’s time to give an attitude of gratitude meaning and power beyond what we have assigned to it in the past. Time to realize that it really is a foundational approach to a blessed life. An emotion that can transform our lives if we fully embrace it. We need supercharge our mindset and have an attitude of gratitude towards every aspect of our lives!
Sit with Gratitude
Sit with me for a moment. With the sun, bright, behind your closed eyelids. Breathe deep, life giving breaths. Realize that you are here, in this moment. Alive and whole. A perfect human being, blessed with life. Don’t overthink it, just be in the moment. I firmly believe that we are often our own worst enemies. Why? Because we are just too hard on ourselves! I don’t know where it comes from, maybe our mortality gnaws at us, but it makes us anxious and unhappy. We are always chasing the dream. Pushing towards a goal. We seldom stop to be fully present in the moment. To firstly be grateful, and secondly, take stock of where we have come from and what we’ve achieved.
Gratitude can come from so many aspects of our lives. It can come from acknowledging what we have been through, where we have been and how far we have come. Or it can come from stopping to smell the roses or watching a smile spread across the face of a loved one. It can come from gazing at the stars and realizing the vastness of the universe, understanding that you were consciously created to be a part of this miracle called life. We should be looking for every opportunity to remind ourselves of how much there is to be grateful for. Instead, too often, we forget to be grateful at all. Let’s make it our focus instead to tune in daily to all our blessings and enjoy the wonderful energy that comes from that attitude of gratitude.
Reflect on what an Attitude of Gratitude can Do for You
A Fresh Perspective
Gratitude gives you a new perspective on your life and the world around you. Nothing is as ‘big’ as you make it out to be, and almost all obstacles can be overcome in life. With a grateful heart you understand this. You know when you’ve got it good. It is a sad reality that others don’t have what you have. All around the world there are people whose health is not as good as ours. There are people who can’t have children or have lost their parents. Some people don’t have running water, others don’t have the ability to run. We all have something that somebody else does not, and you can always find something to be grateful for if you try.
While this might seem like a strange way to approach gratitude it does pay to be aware of your blessings. We are experts at taking things for granted, so thinking about why you should be grateful is definitely a powerful way to gain new insights and a new perspective on your life.
Appreciation for Yourself
When you reflect on where you’ve come from and what you have, you learn to include yourself in this. It becomes a natural part of the process. You develop an attitude of gratitude towards yourself. Choosing gratitude means you appreciate your own efforts more instead of putting yourself down. This applies to the efforts you put into your work, your family time, your home etc.
What can you find to be grateful for right now that is all you? Is it your resilience? Or your ability to be a shoulder for someone in their time of need? Find something about yourself that makes you smile. Makes you feel proud. Then, pay attention to that warm feeling in your heart when you think about it. Let that gratitude grow and shine! Be overwhelmed by appreciation and a sense of gratitude for yourself.
Recognize Opportunities and Growth
Gratitude helps you recognize opportunities when they are presented to you. When life throws you a curve ball, a change in life circumstance, you look at things in a different way. Maybe you have to move to a new city for your work, or you’ve had a health scare that forces you to slow down. Gratitude will give you the ability to recognize the lessons and opportunities to be gained through these experiences instead of being caught in the grip of resentment or anger. You recognize an opportunity for growth instead of seeing the temporary inconvenience or pain of the situation.
Why should gratitude have this effect? Because the simple act of considering your situation from the attitude of gratitude mindset means that you are looking for reasons to be grateful. It means you have consciously chosen to find the lessons, growth or silverling in all of life’s experiences. And while you may have to put in some effort in the beginning, once gratitude has become your new norm this is the way you live from here on out. In a state of gratitude, and aware of your blessings.
Failure is a Learning Experience
Being grateful for failure is a tough ask but even this is possible when you develop an attitude of gratitude. We don’t call it an attitude for nothing! This is about a way of living, not a momentary recognition or list writing exercise. Once you’ve turned gratitude into your dominant emotion you learn to see failure in a different way. You understand that failure is a learning experience and are grateful for the journey.
Even our lowest times offer us opportunities to be grateful. We learn from these tough times. They make us stronger. When you look back on your lowest times allow gratitude to rise within you as you think of the lessons that you learned during these experiences. Read my blog 5 Reasons Going Through Hard Times Makes You Stronger for some more insights into how you can find gratitude through all aspects of life.
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Gain a Sense of Belonging
When you feel gratitude you feel a sense of belonging. It may be as you thank your God or Source for your blessings. You realize that these blessings have been bestowed upon you. You realize that you are not alone and that you are supported in this life. It could be something as simple as the reliability of the sun rising every morning or something as impactful as someone you love having a close call with death. These moments offer profound inspiration and give an attitude of gratitude meaning and power in our lives.
There is nothing like the sense of calm ‘knowing’ that comes over you when you are truly grateful. It fills your body with love, softens the tension and gives you a sense of ‘everything is alright’. This feeling is that very same sense of belonging. It is a sense of being secure and able to trust in a higher power. Gratitude and faith are very, very close cousins!
Placebo for the Attitude
Gratitude acts like a placebo for the attitude. What the heck do I mean by this? Well, it is very difficult to focus on aches and pains when you are telling yourself how grateful you are. Or, to get caught up in an unsuccessful business venture when your mindset is well trained to see the opportunities and lessons. Instead of slipping into a negative perspective you are more naturally prone to look for something to be grateful for. That means you quickly move on to solutions instead of dwelling on the problems.
Take your body as an example. When you are grateful for your body you treat it kindly, you respect it more. It’s like a smile for your inner being. It makes you feel good. It’s like feeding your soul the nutrients it needs. Being grateful for your body is the same as using positive self-talk instead of negative. Your body can only be strong when spoken to kindly. Show it gratitude instead of putting it down. Same thing for your heart and your mind! Think this is a load of rubbish? Try talking to yourself in a negative way and see how difficult it is to stay motivated!
Less Worried about Material Things
One of the wonderful side effects of having an attitude of gratitude is that you become less concerned with material things because you understand what is really important in life. It doesn’t mean you don’t WANT material things; it just means you appreciate what you already have and don’t concern yourself too much with the latest trends. This can be a liberating realization.
Tuning in to nature and the irreplaceable things in life like your breath, the blood running through your veins, your family, the bonds you share with the people you love. Tuning into the value of these things helps you gain a new perspective on what matters. It always helps to think about life as a series of moments that pass by. We want to make them count. Make them memorable. These moments have so much more value than ANY material thing. Think about this for a while and your attitude of gratitude will grow stronger through this realization.
Quite Frankly you’re more Likeable!
Last of all, grateful people are more likeable! Everyone is naturally drawn to people who are kind. People who say please and thank you. People who are grateful for the things we do for them. What better way to go through life than to be grateful for those around you! And, when you appreciate them you are greeted with the same level of appreciation and respect. It’s a win win.
Do you know anyone in your life that exudes this attitude of gratitude? How does their energy feel to you? There is something so uplifting about someone who is grateful. It’s inspiring, and contagious! If you are lacking this positive energy make it your mission to seek them out. Better still, be that positive energy for others.
Expand on your Gratitude
Gratitude is such an under-appreciated, yet essential, part of a well-balanced life. I want this to become a part of your daily life, like the air that you breathe. Being grateful should be built into who you are as a human being. It will change your entire life. Start every day with a mental note to remember gratitude first and foremost. In every area of your day. You will feel lighter and happier for it.
What am I grateful for? Right now, I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here writing this for you! I want nothing more than to inspire you to live your best, most grateful life. I hope you enjoyed reading this.
Looking for similar blogs? Head over and read Using a Gratitude Journal to Change your Mindset
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(Blog originally published on 16 Aug 2020)