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Why Develop an Attitude of Gratitude?

Gratitude, practiced actively and consistently, aligns us with the great universal attracting power of the Cosmos. The more we radiate gratitude and thankfulness, the more we receive to be grateful for! This creates an upward-moving energy spiral, because like energy attracts like energy.

No matter where we are in life, no matter what we’ve had to endure, there are always things to be grateful for. An attitude of gratitude is a potent personal growth and personal development tool.

attitude of gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude Improves Your Perspective

Deeply appreciating the wonderful things around us, past, present, and future, opens our minds to more of the same. It aligns our energy with the forces of abundance.

It's no secret that there is trouble and misery in the world. We have a choice, though, about where we focus our energy. Obsessing over unfortunate circumstances feeds negativity and poisons your entire system. Negativity stops you from becoming the person you desire to be, and from attracting abundance into your life. As we learn to appreciate all things, we free ourselves from emotional pain and discomfort.

To build a sense of gratitude, start by appreciating the little things. In time, an attitude of gratitude prevails, and  feelings of fear, disappointment, and discouragement wash away.

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Active vs Passive Gratitude

Many of us put off feeling grateful until after the arrival of something better. In fact, holding back on gratitude while waiting for proof denies us its power. It must come first. Gratitude prepares the mind for good things to come by shifting the energetic balance from hoping something good will arrive, to knowing it will arrive, and experiencing deep gratitude for this inevitability. The intention to feel grateful at a later date is not enough!

True gratitude is an active practice of feeling thankful. It requires a commitment to see things in their most positive light. This is how gratitude begets Joy.

Practicing Gratitude: Count Your Blessings!

Like many of us, you may be going about your life's business without a dedicated gratitude practice. You know your likes and dislikes, and try to be thankful for the good things that arrive. Yet, as we've just learned, this is a passive practice that may leave us feeling like a car stuck in neutral: the engine revs, but we don't go anywhere. Here are some tips on starting a gratitude practice, and turning it into an active process:

  • Create a gratitude journal. There are many ways to do this. I ask my coaching clients to create a master list on a sheet of legal pad, two columns, front and back. Now fill the sheet with things you're grateful for. This won't be easy because you've got almost one hundred spaces to fill. Pushing yourself to completion is important, because it pulls things up from the depths of your awareness that you might have been taking for granted.
  • Read your journal out loud, with feeling, at least once every day. Don't skip this step, or dilute the great energy it contains by reading it through indifferently. Really feel the emotion of thankfulness well up inside you as you read.
  • Allow pictures to form in your mind about the wonderful good things you're describing! If you're grateful about your dog, then open a detailed image in your mind of the good times you've had together. Allow your appreciation to build and grow.
attitude of gratitude
  • Before and after reading your gratitude journal, take inventory of your mood, rating your general sense of contentment from 0 to 10 (zero being depressed, ten being euphoric). Prove to yourself that expressing gratitude lifts your mood.
  • If you get stuck while creating your list, think for a second of the things you'd miss in your life if they weren't there tomorrow. People, experiences, and things tend to grow in value for us if we contemplate their departure.
  • Now that you have your list, add to it! Push yourself to find areas of your life that shout out for your gratitude. Drill down into specifics that spark appreciation! This gets easier as your attitude of gratitude takes hold. But know this: There is no limit to things for which we can feel grateful.
  • Keep side lists in other areas of your life. This could be as simple as a text file on a work computer. The format is unimportant. What matters is the act of recording your thankfulness. The more opportunities you give yourself, the more things you'll discover!

Giving Compliments: Spreading Your Attitude of Gratitude Around

To double the power of your gratitude practice there's nothing better than giving compliments. It's a way to share the good energy that flows from an attitude of gratitude. It costs very little, but rewards both the sender and the receiver. There's nothing quite like making someone's day with a few thoughtful words.

So, let's not be stingy with compliments! They spread good cheer and put a bounce into the step of the receiver and the sender.

Why do people struggle giving compliments?

Many of us are suspicious of flattery because we think someone wants something from us. It's important, then, that our compliments are delivered with sincerity and with no strings attached to any future demand. That's what elevates a compliment above empty flattery. Ironically, by expecting nothing in return you may find yourself receiving back gratitude in equal or greater measure than what you sent out.

If you're worried you won't find things to compliment on, take heart. As your attitude of gratitude deepens, you'll become more adept at recognizing other people's great qualities. Taking the next step and expressing your appreciation to someone else makes both of you feel great!

Giving even one compliment per day will change your life for the better!

feeling grateful

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