The Attitude of Gratitude
During my 30 Days of Gratitude challenge, I’ve shared a number of things you can listen to, read and do to help you appreciate many things that life has already given you. Your bi-weekly paycheck, the steady rainfall that watered the lawn, electricity that provides juice for our internet pleasure or simply your health– these are just a few things you might take for granted daily. Yes, they are rather small things that don’t add up to winning the lottery, but if you think about it, they are wonderful–but not enough by themselves. You need the right frame of mind to fully enjoy life. And along with that right frame of mind, you need the attitude for gratitude.
Life is better when you feel blessed. When was the last time you looked around and said, “Thank you, God.” Religious or not, when you see life as a wonderful gift, your experience is a richer one than any amount of money can provide. Imagine going through life like you’re a child, and every morning is Christmas. Remember the excitement? Remember how that felt?
It’s tempting to think gratitude comes from having what you want. You might see yourself giving thanks if you had lots of money, a loving family, and maybe a house on the beach. But what about all the ungrateful, unhappy people who have these things…and all the poor people full of gratitude for what little they have. Where does this feeling come from?
Gratitude arises from how you look at things. It seems to open the heart to “feel.” It is the natural feeling that comes from truly appreciating the people and things in your life. And it is something you can learn, as I’ve mentioned before.
First, you have to stop and smell the roses. You can’t be thankful for something you don’t notice or enjoy, right? Some roses really do smell great, by the way–when you take time to smell them.
Next, you need to make this appreciative approach to roses, and life, a habit. This means doing it often! I’m not asking you to ignore the ugliness in the world, but you have to habitually see the beautiful things in order to appreciate them. So I’m asking you today to slow down and look around you. During this time of year especially, look at what you have already surrounding you and appreciate not only the things and people themselves, but the awesome feelings of joy, warmth or cheer they bring.
Start writing down every positive thing that happens to you, and all the things you like. Do this until you start automatically seeing the good things in life…it will happen! You’ll notice something different. If you’ve ever bought a red car, and started seeing red cars everywhere, you know how awareness can alter your perception of reality. To see wonderful things everywhere, train yourself to look for them and remember what great feelings they bring to you.
When you are in the habit of “counting your blessings,” gratitude, and a much richer experience of life is the natural result.
If you have experienced this shift for yourself, please share you insights in the comments below. Come on over to my Facebook page to continue to enjoy more great ways to share the attitude of gratitude.
If you would like more information about how I use gratitude and positive psychology in my coaching, please contact me for a free consultation.