How To Develop a Positive Attitude Using Gratitude
How does gratitude help you cultivate a positive attitude?
First, let’s take a look at what this word really means. Dictionary.com defines it as “the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.” If we follow that up with a search on grateful, we get “warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful.”
If I were to rephrase those definitions into my own words, I would say gratitude means “being thankful or appreciative of anything that benefits us.”
What Can Gratitude Do For You?Simply put, if you’re spending time focusing on all that is good in your life, you’re not dwelling on things that stink. In this state, it’s actually pretty tough to be negative! Thus, an attitude of being thankful makes you a more positive person.
However, just because you’re fixed on the positive things does not mean you’re ignoring all the nasty stuff in your life. That would be like putting your head in the sand, which I don’t recommend because it doesn’t benefit you in any way. There certainly are times when you need to face your issues and deal with them. And confronting your challenges with a positive attitude makes a colossal difference, but that’s a whole other topic.
If you believe in the law of attraction, appreciation can help you activate this law to your benefit. The law of attraction states that you attract to your life what you think and feel about most. So if you spend time every day thinking about and feeling thankful for the good things in your life, you'll start attracting more and more things to be thankful for.
How Do You Develop The Gratitude Muscle?
Try using one or more of these methods.
1. Daily Gratitude Journal
Get yourself a notebook and start writing a list of things you're thankful for each day. It can be things that happened to you or that which you're thankful for in general. Try to make this more than just a writing exercise. To the best of your ability, try to really feel grateful for each thing you write on your list.
This will get you into the habit of looking for things to be thankful for. As you continue to write in your journal each day, you will develop a habit of looking for and seeing things to be grateful for all day long, not just when you're writing in your journal. And as I noted earlier, it's much easier to think positively when you're seeing the good in your life compared to when you're focused on the bad.
2. Daily Gratitude Walks
A gratitude walk is similar to the gratitude journal idea. The difference is that instead of writing in a journal, you're going for a walk and generating a list in your head. The added benefit of walking is that you're also out getting some exercise and fresh air, which will help you feel better in general. It is also often said that walks help you clear your mind and lift your mood. If possible, try to get out in nature when you go for your walk; nature tends to make us feel calmer and happier.
In order to keep things from getting boring or repetitive, you can alternate back and forth between walking and writing depending on the weather and how you're feeling each day.
3. Start Looking At Your Problems Differently
Easier said than done, but try to be thankful for your problems! You might be thinking I'm a little off my rocker for telling you this, but hear me out for a minute. When most people encounter problems, they tend to focus on the negative stuff surrounding the problem. But there's another way you can look at things.
Problems offer you an opportunity to learn, grow, and become a better person. Every adversity offers you the seed of opportunity. First, change the word “problem” to “challenge,” which has a more positive ring and affects the way you see the issue. Take some time to analyze what created the challenge and then start brainstorming on ways you can solve it and prevent it from happening again. Once you've developed a plan, take action. Just going through this process will make you not only a better person but also better able to handle challenges as they come up in the future.
What if you don’t have anything to be grateful for?Sometimes things seem so bad, it’s really tough to find something to be grateful for. Here is a small list of things to consider that will hopefully prompt you to see that there's almost always something to be thankful for.
- Running water, electricity, heat, shelter, a bed, access to
the Internet …
- You have eyes to be reading this, or ears for someone to
read this to you
- Food to eat
Please consider that there are so many people in the world who don't have many of the things most of us take for granted!I challenge you to think of and be thankful for good things in your life over the next 30 days. I know it’s not always easy, but it is definitely never impossible. See how much of a difference it makes in how you feel about your life!To learn more about this topic, please check out the related articles listed at the bottom of the page.
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