How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

It is easy to get sucked in by daily negativity and lose sight of the good in our lives. Here are some quick tips for cultivating an attitude of gratitude.

By Jenny Dsouza ~

How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude Lifeism

There is a lot that we can be grateful for. We have friends and family to love, our health, the ability to do so many things in life, and much more. However, it doesn't always come easy to be grateful for everything that's good in our lives. Gratitude requires an active effort on our part and some work on cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Here are our top tips for doing just that:

Define what gratitude means to you

Before you can cultivate an attitude of gratitude, it's important to define what gratitude means to you. For example, some people believe that being grateful means thanking God for their blessings. Others believe it means appreciating the good in their lives. While others just want to change the negative thinking cycle, they are in. Gratitude is more than just thinking about the good things that happen to you—it's also noticing and acknowledging them as they happen. It is a deep feeling of connection with the universe and the knowing that only good is in store for you.

Gratitude is an attitude that can be cultivated by recognizing your own self-worth and learning how to be thankful for all of your experiences in life – good as well as the not-so-good ones. If you're struggling with feeling grateful, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Why do I deserve this good thing in my life?
  • What does this mean for me?
  • How has my life changed because of it?
  • What do I have now that others don't have?

Keep a gratitude journal

Write down what you are grateful for, no matter how small. A gratitude journal can help you identify the things that are most important to you, and it can also help open your eyes to all the good in your life.

Write down at least three things that you are grateful for every day. You might even want to write more than three items down—the more, the better!

If possible, write a few paragraphs about each item on your list. You could start with something like "Today I am grateful for..." and then write about those things that bring joy and meaning into your life. Start with the basics: your family members, friends, pets (if you have them), clothing, clean water—anything that makes your life more comfortable than a homeless person sleeping in a cardboard box in the park. You may even want to keep track of these things in a journal so that you can see how grateful for them over time as well as what new items were added to the list after certain events occurred or certain experiences were had (for example new job).

Consider sharing these entries with someone else; this will allow them to be inspired by some of the positive qualities they see in you! And gratitude only grows when shared with loved ones.

Start with self-gratitude

When it comes to cultivating an attitude of gratitude, the first step is to start with yourself. It starts with being grateful for who you are and who you have become over the years. No matter where you are – whether you are in a better place than you anticipated or whether you still have some room for improvement, say a prayer of thanks for being just being you. If you're alive, breathing, and able to read this article, then you are incredibly fortunate. There are billions of people whose lives would be improved by just one of those things.

Once self-gratitude has been established as a habit through daily practice, move on to larger groups of people such as coworkers or classmates at school who are often taken for granted until they leave or graduate and then suddenly become missed dearly after they're gone, or even neighbors who live next door but never say hello unless there's something specific going on that requires interaction between both households (such as street construction). When looking at these things from an outsider's perspective it becomes clear how many opportunities go wasted every day because everyone assumes everyone else knows what we know about each other without saying anything first—but really no one does! So start being more present in your life and gratitude for the people around you will come naturally.

Practice mindfulness

You can cultivate an attitude of gratitude by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present. It's a kind of "wakeful presence", and it's the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to things as they arise.

Alertness does not mean thinking about something or analyzing it; rather, it means being aware of what is happening within yourself and around you at all times without getting lost in any particular thought or emotion. This sounds easier than it actually is: sometimes your mind will wander (which could be good), but often we get stuck in our own thoughts and miss what's happening right now.

When you practice mindfulness meditation—or even just take some time each day to focus on your breathing—you're learning how to become more aware of your thoughts and emotions without becoming caught up in them or letting them dictate how you feel about yourself or others around you. This tends to inspire a deep sense of connection and gratitude within us.

Learn from adversity

We often tend to forget about the gifts of our lives when we are facing challenges in our lives. However, each adversity can be an opportunity to express gratitude. There is no doubt that all of us have experienced adversity in some form or another, and it can be a learning experience. When you find yourself experiencing hardship, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What can I learn from this?
  • Is there some value in what's happening?
  • How will I grow as a person because of this?

In our darkest moments, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But if you have hope and gratitude, you can endure almost anything.

Ask yourself, "What's good about this?"

One of the best ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude is to ask yourself, "What's good about this?" In every situation, you are in.

When you're in a difficult situation, and it seems as if nothing could possibly be good about it, ask yourself that question. When you’re in a good situation too and feel like things are going exactly as they should—ask yourself that question. And when things are neutral or even kind of negative (like when someone cuts in front of you at Starbucks), also ask yourself this question.

When you ask yourself what's good about a situation, it helps you to focus on the positive aspects of it. It's hard to feel grateful for something when you're focusing on all the bad things. But when you start looking for the good, suddenly there are more things to be grateful for.

Gratitude for the past, present, and the future

We often think of an attitude of gratitude when we are looking at our past or at our present. We often forget to express gratitude for our future. By expressing our gratitude for the future, we are blessing it, we are showing our faith in the universe, and we are anticipating good things to happen to us. And that is a powerful force. Remember to express gratitude not just for the present, but also for the future.

Gratitude rock

Another way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude is by keeping a gratitude rock in your pocket. Whenever you touch that rock throughout the day, you have to think about one thing that you are grateful for in your life. You will be surprised how many times you reach in your pocket throughout the day. This tip is a sure-shot way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, even among kids.

Make it a daily ritual

Gratitude is about fundamentally changing our way of thinking and being. While this is typically difficult, the suggestions made earlier in the article make it easy. The goal is to pick a few of the ideas mentioned above and continue practicing them on a daily basis. To cultivate gratitude, you need to make it a habit. The best way to do this is by making gratitude a part of your daily routine.

Whatever it is that gives us joy in our lives can be considered an aspect of gratitude—and we should celebrate these things every day if possible!

As with all good things, gratitude requires practice and patience. But if you keep at it, the benefits of cultivating an attitude of gratitude will reverberate throughout your life—and you’ll be able to enjoy them for years to come! At the end of the day, it is important to remember that being grateful and living in gratitude is a choice. A choice that we make every single day. Choose gratitude today.


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