An Attitude of Gratitude

Written by: Shalyni Paiyappilly

Gratitude is an expression of appreciation for what one has rather than dwelling in negativity or focusing on what is missing. Often it is overlooked but research shows that gratitude can be quite powerful to increase happiness. Having an attitude of gratitude bares no cost nor does it take much time. And the benefits of gratitude are enormous. Research reveals gratitude can benefit one’s emotions, personality, social dynamics, career success, and overall health.

Here are seven ways to cultivate daily gratitude:

Become aware.  Notice the amount of negativity, complaining, or gossiping your mind engages. Is there a tendency to allow circumstances to dictate your mood? or are you able to breathe and get into a state of calmness and gratitude?  In every moment you meet see if you can refrain from automatic negative thinking and reframe and find something to be grateful for. It can be the simplest thing like “I am grateful to have water to quench my thirst.”

Gratitude Journaling. Dedicate time in your date to jot down things you are grateful for. This will help you remember that, even if you are having a hard time, there are still many things in life for which you can be thankful for.  Feeling gratitude in any given moment can shift your physiology and focus.

Shift your point of view.  After you have begun noticing and writing, start shifting your point of view from negative to positive, upset to grateful.  This will take time and practice.  

Be Humble.  Humility is the quality of being modest or respectful. Reflect on what you take for granted and if you can change your attitude and position.  Humility can allow for a sense of openness and help reveal new ways of thinking and experiencing the world.

Share appreciation.  Express a compliment or praise.  Let others know that you appreciate them. Engage in random acts of kindness with no expectation of anything in return.  Put out positive vibes and energy just because you can.  

Catch the silver lining in situations.  When moments do not go your way.  Question yourself, “what can I learn from this?”  “How can I prevent this negative event from repeating?” or “how can I have an optimal response next time?”  In every situation, there is opportunity.  

Make A Contribution.  Be giving of your time, energy, and financial resources.  Engage in an initiative that resonates with you just for the mere fact you are grateful for what you have been given or able to earn.  Donating helps us live in gratitude because we are helping worthwhile causes and people who are less fortunate.

Life can present so many ups and downs, but if we humans cultivate an attitude of gratitude then our journey can truly be less stressful, and we will likely experience more things to be grateful for.