Before I officially get out of bed in the morning, I say some affirmations and then I list the things that I’m grateful for. Since I don’t have the entire day, my verbal gratitude list is condensed, and then as I go about my day I bring up other things that I’m grateful for as they pop into my head.
Having an attitude of gratitude has changed my life. I feel better physically and emotionally, I’m content, and I can appreciate the small moments in my life—the big ones too, but that’s not as challenging.
Daisy Jing, entrepreneur, speaker, and YouTube vlogger has this to say about gratitude. “Gratefulness is the ability to be thankful knowing that someone else is deserving of what you have right now, but fate chose you. It is the attitude of staying positive, understanding that you have that blessing for a purpose and the perfect response aside from being responsible is to give thanks and give back.” I think that’s a beautiful way to put it.
Gratitude creates positive energy. “Whatever energy you project into the universe will bring that same energy back to you,” says Meiyoko Taylor, author and success coach. “The attitude of gratitude gives off a positive energy that will literally transform your life, your business, and will open up consistent opportunities for you to prosper as a human being.”
Being grateful is easy, inexpensive, and the benefits are huge. Nathaniel Rodriguez sums it up this way, “When you feel gratitude, you put yourself in the best position to give and receive abundance from the universe.”And, that’s not all.
Here’s why you need an attitude of gratitude.
It’s a high vibration emotion:
In an article on The Huffington Post, writer, and spiritual leader Pamela Dussault Runtagh explains why having a higher vibration is important, “We all vibrate energetically at a particular frequency. The lower the frequency, the denser your energy, and the heavier your problems seem.” Clearly, low frequency isn’t something that we want to cultivate, and she goes on to say, “The higher the frequency of your energy or vibration, the lighter you feel in your physical, emotional, and mental bodies. You experience greater personal power, clarity, peace, love, and joy.” If gratitude can help raise your frequency, then why wouldn’t you do it?
Good things happen:
The more grateful you feel and the more feelings of gratitude that you share with the world, the more blessing you’ll receive. “The Universe opens up and shows favor on those who have an attitude of gratitude,” says Vid Lamonte’ Buggs, Jr., author, athlete, and philanthropist. “You attract what you focus on and if you are a person who has an attitude of gratitude more positive things will happen in your life because a person who has gratitude is a person who sees positivity in everything and is thankful.”
Connects you to yourself:
Social media makes it easy to envy the lives of others and feel as if we come up short. This point of view can sometimes subconsciously pull us away from our own lives—preventing us from seeing the good and wonderful things we have. Christine Scott-Hudson, MA, MFT, ATR suggests that practicing gratitude helps us to reconnect back to ourselves. “Underneath the loneliness, we are often disconnected from our own life force and from our own sense of belonging to the world at large,” she says. “People come and go throughout our lives and so the most important relationship you’ll have is the one with yourself. You can learn to become your own best friend and remember your place in the world by strengthening your authentic, inner voice by practicing gratitude daily.”
It accentuates the positive:
While it’s a good idea to be grateful for everything—the actual practice of being grateful focuses on the positive aspects of your life and helps positive energy flow towards you. “One of the most significant benefits of having an attitude of gratitude is how it can change our overall outlook,” says health and wellbeing coach, Nate Battle. “We are more focused on the positive, open to new ideas, more creative, and as a result, are less susceptible to being pulled down into the depths of despair and depression from persistent and excessive negative thinking.”
Starts your day off in a positive way:
When you begin by writing out a gratitude list or saying out loud the things you are grateful for, it sets the tone for the day. Sure, some not-so-fun things can happen but having that attitude of gratitude can protect you from feeling overwhelmed by any negativity. “An attitude of gratitude is a kind of inner reflection that allows you to set the tone for your day,” says Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com. “When you practice it daily, little by little, it does help adjust your mindset and motivate you. You feel compelled to do the best each day with the reminder that even more opportunities lie ahead tomorrow.”
Makes you happier:
Happiness is something that we all want for ourselves and our loved ones. But sometimes it can be elusive. Gratitude is something that promotes happiness and wellbeing. “Grateful people are happier, more relaxed, less jealous, less self-centered and materialistic, more optimistic, and have higher self-esteem,” says Nita Sweeney, author of “Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink.” “Their marriages and other relationships are stronger, and they do well in social situations.”
You don’t have to “have it all” to be satisfied:
If you’re only interested in bigger, more expensive, and better than what everyone else has, you’ll never be satisfied. You’ll keep aiming for things that have no meaning so that when you get them, you don’t feel much of anything. Gratitude helps you to be happy with what you have right now. “When we are not focused on gratitude, it is likely that our focus will turn to what’s wrong or what’s missing. Our ole monkey minds just tend to wander in the direction of ‘not enough’ says writer and happiness coach, Sherry Richert Belul. “As soon as we intentionally focus on what we do have and how grateful we are, we are filled with a sense of having enough. The more I appreciate, the more I recognize what I have the more satisfied I am, the more I look for other joys, the more joy I feel, the more joy I express, the more generous I am, the happier the people around me are, the more generous they are, the happier the whole planet gets.”
Improves your self-talk:
We all have a little voice in our heads that seems to be on a non-stop loop of negative self-talk. It can be critical, judgmental, and often seems to have a gift for being able to tell us the things that we’re most afraid to hear. However, when you have an attitude of gratitude, that little voice starts to sound a lot more positive and optimistic. “Having gratitude in my toolbox brings me more joy, more fun, more opportunity, more success,” says Jessica Jeboult of asobergirlsguide.com. “Gratitude also combats that negative inner voice or as I call her ‘Negative Nancy’ that resides in the 6 inches between my ears. Your inner saboteur can not exist in a positive, gratitude-filled environment.”
Makes you stronger:
When you have an attitude of gratitude; you’re better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at you, and you don’t get derailed every time you fail or don’t know how to cope. “One of the strongest reasons to practice gratitude is to foster resilience,” says Nita Sweeney. “At some point, life will throw everyone a curve. The simple act of listing three things for which a person is grateful will help that person respond positively when a challenge arises. Building the ‘gratitude muscle’ regardless of outside circumstances helps people rebound when life takes a turn.”
Gives you perspective:
There’s no escaping entirely the negativity in life, but sometimes all it takes is an attitude adjustment to take away its power. “I try and give thanks for all that comes my way, the good and the bad,” says author, G. Brian Benson. “We are here to learn and grow, and the greatest learning opportunities usually occur during trying experiences (what a great place to hide lessons huh?). Be thankful for them, and the new and hopefully wiser you who came out of a tough situation.”
Improves your health:
Healthwise, gratitude is good for the brain. Dr. Catherine Jackson, a licensed clinical psychologist and board-certified neurotherapist says: “Hundreds of studies have documented a wealth of social, physical, psychological, and brain-based benefits of gratitude.” Some of these benefits include reducing anxiety, strengthening the immune system, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep, and combating stress.
It’s a key to success:
When you have a mindset of gratitude, people want to interact with you and are more open to listening to your ideas. “I can definitely say that gratitude is the twin brother of attitude in becoming successful in life, “says health and lifestyle editor of Shiny Leaf, Ivan Orville. “While an impressive attitude helps you establish good relationships and professionalism among people you work with, your ability to express gratitude makes you more personable, creates rapport, and leaves a good impression about your personality.”
If you’re still doubtful that having an attitude of gratitude can bring an abundance of positivity into your life, try it out and see what happens. Make a gratitude list, think about everything that you have, and when you’re feeling down, make a choice to change your mindset to one of gratitude. I think you’ll be pleased with the results of this mini-experiment and you’ll see how beneficial cultivating a gratitude practice is and the ways it improves your life.