Isn’t it fun to be around someone who’s bubbly and positive? Their attitude has a way of making us feel happy, too. How do we become that positive person that encourages happiness to those around us? How can we adopt an attitude of gratitude?
Lately, I’ve been reflecting on my life and how I got to where I am today. I used to have a fantastic “grown-up” job as a financial advisor. Due to a series of health issues (including Endometriosis and gallstones) that finally ended with Shingles (I was only 47 years old at the time), I found myself at home, struggling with anxiety and depression. Luckily, I had a support system in place to help me through those “rainy” days. I was so grateful to receive words of encouragement from friends and family, and thankful for their patience to not give up on me!
Fast forward 7 years later – I now have the privilege of helping my mom and taking care of my grandchildren. Talk about grateful! I’m exactly where I should be – available to help out my family – returning the support that was given to me in my time of need. Of course, I know that now because hindsight is 20/20, but 7 years ago, it was hard to feel grateful for anything. But good things can come from those bad experiences. Now I have the awareness to live each day more intentionally.
I’m amazed at study after study that demonstrates the power of having an attitude of gratitude. It’s a lifestyle and mindset choice that can drastically change your life.
Gratitude helps us:
- Reduce depression and improve self-esteem
- Develop a strong immune system and lower blood pressure
- Improve job performance and get promotions at work
- Increase productivity and reach goals faster
- Increase our energy, increase sleep quality, and eat healthier
- Become more likable and have deeper friendships
- Reduce and cope with negative stress
- Increase feelings of happiness and wellbeing
- Reduce negative emotions such as envy, hatred, and anger
- Increase positive emotions such as love and empathy
How do you develop an attitude of gratitude? What are some actionable items that will help focus your mind and receive these positive benefits?
Take time to focus on what you’re grateful for.
“Most people would agree that we have a lot to be thankful for. After all, many of us live a lifestyle full of conveniences. We live in comfortable homes, wear nice clothes, and have reliable transportation. We have no shortage of clean water or healthy food. We have access to quality healthcare and education, and basically live a good life with a lot of freedom, safety and security.” ~Joyce Meyer
Create a list of things you’re grateful for. Here’s the beginning of my personal list:
I am grateful for my:
- loving husband
- talented daughters
- giggling grandchildren
- kind mother
- supportive sister & brother
- warm house, electricity, running water, & plumbing
I am also grateful for sunshine on cold winter days, and my favorite foods: pizza and ice cream!
Create a Gratitude Journal.
Write down positive experiences you’ve had or things you’ve noticed, such as someone holding the elevator for you or someone cooking your favorite meal. Once you become more aware of others, the next thing you know, it’s you bringing an extra cup of coffee to a coworker!
Tell someone how much you appreciate them.
Maybe it’s just a simple “Thank you.” If you’re too shy to tell them how much you appreciate them in person, send a note or a card. Take time to notice and thank the UPS driver, the fast food cashier, and the retail sales clerk. Chances are they don’t hear it enough.
How do you develop an attitude of gratitude? Work at it. Take time to focus on what you’re grateful for by making a handwritten list or creating a gratitude journal. Tell people how much you appreciate them. Gratefulness is a lifestyle and mindset choice that can drastically change your life. Change your mindset – adopt an attitude of gratitude – and discover positive changes!
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