There are many psychological benefits of cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Researchers observed that people who make it a habit to give thanks and express daily gratitude are less anxious and depressed when compared to those who do not show gratitude and appreciation.
By practicing and expressing gratitude daily, you get better sleep, develop empathy, feel grateful, become more considerate and develop a sense of fulfillment. You will become less self-centered, complain less, and appreciate more because you are able to see and focus on the positive and good side of things.
6 Ways to Develop the Attitude of Gratitude
1. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Use your journal to list down 10 things that you are grateful for. It pushes you to appreciate things and people instead of complaining, whining and comparing. Write a one sentence statement for each. Here are a few examples.
i) I am grateful for being alive.
ii) Thank you Mr. Waiter for smiling at me when you served my order.
iii) I appreciate the policemen who keep themselves awake at night to safeguard all of us while I sleep soundly.
iv) I have appreciation for good books and great authors and their presence enable me to broaden my knowledge.
v) I give thanks for the sun that shines. It keeps me warm and brightens my day.
2. Count Your Blessings
Good and bad things happen to us all. A few of us are more fortunate than others. Show that you are grateful by counting your blessings even if you may be going through a little bit of a challenge in life. Recall good things such as the kind people you met today, the great food that you ate and the peaceful sleep that you had last night.
3. Be Mindful
Don’t take things for granted. Observe and become more aware of things and people around you. Look up at the sky and watch the clouds. Watch the sunrise and sunset. Smell the flowers. Listen to the birds chirping. It will make realize that you have more than enough to meet your needs.
4. Practice Giving
There are many ways to give. A gift, a hug, kind words, a compliment and a smile are some of the ways that you can give to someone. Giving before you receive is very gracious. And one of the easiest ways to show your appreciation is saying “thank you.”
5. Do Something Good for Someone
Another way to practice gratitude is to do something good for someone. Visit a sick person or someone who is living alone. Offer food to a homeless person. Show that you care by paying attention and listening attentively.
6. Grace and Prayer
Offer a short prayer of blessing before or after your meal. By expressing your gratitude, the universe will continue to bless you with more. Say a prayer upon awakening in the morning and before you sleep to show your appreciation for the gift of life. Give thanks in between your daily routines as a reminder to appreciate life and living.
If you haven’t started yet, begin today to cultivate the attitude of gratitude. Set this good example to your children, family members and friends.