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How to Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

“If you concentrate on what you have, you’ll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.” – Lewis Howes

Why Saying “I Am Grateful” Matters

Having an attitude of gratitude is important. Gratitude shifts our mindset. Shifting focus from ourselves to appreciating someone or something gives us the opportunity to express thankfulness for every part of our life. An attitude of gratitude means making the conscious habit of expressing appreciation on a regular basis for big and small things alike. We may be grateful for our relationships, health, business, material items, food in our cupboards, running water in our homes, and our overall sense of well-being.

Heather Faulkner, MSW, LCSW, and Clinical Programs Supervisor at Diversus Health, says, “My attitude of gratitude starts with being optimistic. The journey of life is challenging at times and confronting those challenges with a perspective of optimism is how I tackle the impossible. I have learned to take things one step at a time and to be grateful for each step I get closer to my personal and professional goals.”

When we have an attitude of gratitude, we operate from a place of abundance. Cultivating a grateful mindset helps us feel happier, more positive, and more compassionate with ourselves and others around us. Focusing on what makes us feel grateful allows us to develop better habits of expressing appreciation for the people and things that matter most in our life. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what we have, not what we lack.

Gratitude: A Daily Habit

If you want to develop an attitude of gratitude, make it a daily habit. Be grateful and thankful for everything you appreciate in life. When we express appreciation, what we appreciate grows and increases in value. Practicing gratitude toward our relationships, work, health, home, and mindset makes these things more important to us. Choose to spend your time and energy on what you are most thankful for.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

Being grateful improves our self-confidence, our self-esteem, and enhances our enjoyment of the present moment. We can be grateful for every aspect of our life, including the parts that are going well and those that are not. Expand the positives, rather than dwelling on the negatives. Feeling grateful on a daily basis improves our positivity which can rub off on others we encounter.

 How to Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

1. Begin by asking yourself, “What can I be grateful for?”

2. When you wake up every day, say or write down three things that you are grateful for.

3. At the end of your day, tell someone three things that happened which made you grateful.

4. Start a gratitude journal to write down what you are grateful for, proud of, and excited about.

5. Reflect and acknowledge what you have done and accomplished in the last day/week/month/year. Give yourself credit for the big and small wins you have achieved.

6. Acknowledge other people and thank them for inspiring/helping/supporting you.

7. Observe your thoughts and meditate on gratitude.

8. Surround yourself with people who share a mindset of gratitude and spend more time with them.

9. Take ownership of your present by giving thanks for what you have and where you are in your life right now.

10. Commit to a gratitude practice and be intentional with your insights.

The simplest way to start developing an attitude of gratitude is to choose to appreciate things in life. It’s never too late to start. It takes a bit of work but having an attitude of gratitude is one of the healthiest habits to cultivating a fulfilling and happy life. Give thanks every single day. Take the time to stop and appreciate life and all its beauty. Try adopting some of the tactics above to start shifting your mindset today.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a mental health crisis and need immediate assistance, call our crisis hotline at 844-493-8255, or text ‘TALK’ to 38255. We care about your mental health and well-being. Contact us to book an appointment with one of our Diversus Health providers today.

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