Attitude Of Gratitude

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of life and forget to say thank you.

I don’t mean forgetting to say thank you to your local barista as she hands you your coffee or the person ahead of you who holds the door to your office building as your run up behind them. Those should naturally roll off the tongue. Or at least I hope they do…

I’m talking about having a general attitude of gratitude.

When we’re busy, we often forget to slow down and acknowledge the things we are grateful for. We forget to say thank you for our lives and the incredible opportunities and experiences we’ve had. We take things for granted.

Often, it takes a big life event for us to be reminded of what we are grateful for.

Yet, I’d argue that it shouldn’t take those big moments for us to practice gratitude. Instead, I believe it’s important to explore our gratitude on a much more regular basis.

Why should this be important, you ask? Well, for starters, the benefits of gratitude are far reaching.

People who practice gratitude (taking time to reflect on what they are deeply thankful for) experience more joy, happiness and positivity in their lives. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude helps us to be more resilient - even in the face of tough life events - and makes us more empathetic to others.

Researchers have even found that beyond psychological benefits, gratitude is also associated with physical health benefits (such as stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure), as well as social benefits (such as being more forgiving and feeling less isolated).

All of those sound pretty good, don’t you think?

Great - glad we’re on the same page! Now how do you go about actually practicing more gratitude on a daily basis?

Well, my friend, there are lots of different ways to do this. I’ve put together my 3 favorite ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude below to get you started.

Try one or all of them! See what works best for you!

My 3 favorite ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude:

1. call someone you haven’t talked to in a while

Our lives are busy, and often that means that anything that’s not urgent or immediate gets put to the side while we try to balance everything - including our friends and family. It’s okay - don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens to all of us at some point.

Yet, our close relationships are an integral part of our overall happiness, so it’s important to maintain them. If you’re looking to practice more gratitude, I suggest starting with nurturing those relationships.

Pick up the phone and call a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while. Ask them about their day and how they’re doing. Tell them why you’re grateful for them and how they make your life better.

If they don’t pick up, leave them a voicemail. Given how rare voicemails are these days, they’ll be pleasantly surprised to when they listen to the sweet message you left them.

2. Random Acts of kindness

We’ve all been on the receiving end of someone performing a random act of kindness and we know how good it feels. By doing this for others, we are paying it forward and exhibiting gratitude.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • The next time you go to your favorite coffee shop, buy coffee for the stranger standing behind you in line.

  • See another woman on the subway whose outfit you totally love? Tell her!

  • Bake cookies for a colleague who has been having a rough week.

  • Write your favorite positive quote on a sticky note and leave it on a bus/subway seat or park bench for someone else to find.

The sky is the limit when it comes to random acts of kindness! Do something that will put a smile on someone else’s face and, as a result, on your own.

3. 3 THINGS Gratitude JOURNAL

Find yourself a beautiful notebook or journal and keep it on your bedside table. Each night as you climb into bed, write down 3 things you are grateful for. They could be things that happened that day or just general things you are grateful for in your life.

Use one of the following prompts:

“I am grateful for {blank}.”

“I am grateful for {blank} because {blank}.”

For example, I’ve kept a journal like this off and on over the past several years and some entries I’ve made include:

  • I am grateful for my family’s unconditional love.

  • I am grateful that I have friends who will drop everything and book a flight to visit and support another friend in need.

  • I am grateful for my intuition because it guides me when making important decisions.

Alternatively, if you don’t love the idea of listing statements, you can keep a gratitude journal where you free write about your gratitude each night (or morning).

It’s totally up to you how you approach the gratitude journal. The key is taking a moment to reflect on what you’re grateful for and physically write it down.

If you’re new to cultivating a gratitude practice, this is a wonderful place to start!

Let me know how you liked these 3 ways to practice gratitude in the comments below! Or, if you have another gratitude practice you love, please share!

Grateful for you,