Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude
You have so much to be grateful for! How many times have you said this to someone or had someone say this to you? The importance of an attitude of gratitude, fortunately, is catching on. However it does often still take a back seat to our daily life stresses. Bad days or tough circumstances can lower your mood, making it difficult to feel grateful.
Like all good things, it takes practice and patience to cultivate gratitude. The benefits to ourselves and others are well worth the effort. Practicing gratitude can strengthen relationships, boost our immune system, improve our mental health and help us attain goals. As we kick off the season of gratitude I wanted to share strategies to build and maintain a thankful state of mind regardless of external circumstances. Bring on the gratitude!
Keep a gratitude journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is definitely the most popular way to practice gratitude. There are an abundance of gratitude journalizing prompts out there that you can call upon if you are having trouble getting started. Habits form out of consistency, so figure out the best time of day to write in your gratitude journal and make it happen every day. You will start to notice moments that occur throughout the day that you want to capture in your journal, which will heighten your awareness of gratitude all day long.
Another way to experience more gratitude in your life is by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is the act of focusing on the present, moment to moment, without judgement. It gets you out of your head. It’s difficult to really feel grateful when you’re replaying your past or worrying about the future. You can start by practicing a mindfulness meditation for a few minutes every day. There are many apps that can guide you as you begin this practice.
Do something kind for others
Even simple acts of kindness like opening the door for someone or giving someone a compliment, go a really long way towards making us feel good. Many times, if you’re struggling to find something to be grateful for, it is because your mood is altered for some reason. When that happens, try kindness. In fact, kindness is scientifically proven to release happy chemicals in your brain. Those bad feelings and depression that come along with low mood, are easily cured with a little kindness.
Surround yourself with love
Your environment plays a huge role in your thoughts and moods. When you’re surrounded by negativity, it takes a lot of energy and effort to remain positive. If you are in a situation where you’re surrounded by negativity, make it a point to be the anchor of love that the situation needs. Try refocusing a negative situation through compassion. Empathize with and show compassion for complaining, negative people, and then offer a positive outlook.
Written By: Linda