Gratitude Attitude

Bill Abbate

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Do you ever stop to think about how fortunate you are? Most of us living in America live in a land of virtually limitless opportunity. Is it any wonder so many people from other parts of the world want to come here?

What about the other things you have to be grateful for in life? Your spouse, family, friends, and colleagues. Work, a roof over your head, and food in the pantry and refrigerator?

What about your health? If you enjoy good health, you have much to be thankful for!

Let’s take a closer look at one of the most powerful states of being, an attitude, and one of the greatest words in the English language — gratitude.

What is gratitude?

Did you know gratitude is one of the strongest and most transformative states of being? It is as important as other states of being, such as love and compassion. Yet there is something special about gratitude.

Gratitude is an attitude of being thankful. When made into a habit, it transforms your life and the lives of those around you. Don’t you love being around a person who is thankful for life?

“Gratitude is one of the strongest and most transformative states of being. It shifts your perspective from lack to abundance and allows you to focus on the good in your life, which in turn pulls more goodness into your reality.” Jen Sincero (1965-present)

Gratitude as a word has so much meaning it takes volumes of books to explain it. Gratitude and its synonyms, thankfulness, gratefulness, thanks, and appreciation, are so powerful they create an immediate positive emotional response when used in everyday life.

There are so many benefits to being grateful that many books exist about single aspects of the word. Do a quick search on Amazon for books about gratitude and its synonyms, and you will find thousands available on the subject.

“No duty is more urgent than giving thanks.” James Allen (1864–1912)

Benefits of gratitude

There are so many benefits to developing gratitude it is impossible to list them all here. A significant amount of research continues, scientifically proving its advantages. A few of the many benefits of gratitude include improvements in the following:

  • Marriage
  • Friendships and relationships
  • Happiness
  • Career
  • Overall physical health
  • Psychological well-being
  • Social health
  • Personality
  • Mental strength
  • Self-esteem
  • Sleep
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Empathy
  • Reducing aggression
  • Likeability
  • Optimism
  • Spirituality
  • Decision making
  • Understanding your purpose
  • Reducing stress

If you wish to learn more about the benefits and studies on gratitude, check out this insightful article at positivepsychology.com.

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” Brian Tracy (1944-present)

Developing the habit of the attitude of gratitude

It’s easy to begin developing the habit of gratefulness in your life. Habits come through repetition. When you practice any of the following methods repeatedly, being grateful will become a natural part of who you are.

  • Daily Gratitude Journal — Some people use a Daily Gratitude Journal to build thankfulness into their lives. You can purchase a variety of such journals online or in most bookstores. Record those things you are grateful for daily, and watch yourself grow and mature in thankfulness.
  • Your calendar — A simple way to begin developing gratitude is to add an appointment on your calendar specifically for being thankful. Set it at the same time each day when you may have a few minutes of quiet. Do your best to write down several things for which you are thankful each time.
  • At bedtime — My wife likes to think about what she is grateful for as she falls asleep. She told me this morning on a walk in our neighborhood how it is especially helpful when her mind is racing. It helps her relax so she can go to sleep more quickly.
  • Upon waking — I use the first few minutes after waking each morning to count some things for which I am grateful. With so many blessings in my life, it amazes me how many new things I regularly find to add to my list.
“When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.” Tecumseh (1768–1813)

Whenever possible, be sure to write down those things for which you are grateful. This written word will make gratefulness more powerful and impactful in your life.

Appreciating gratitude

To inspire you to become grateful in your life, look again at the list of benefits above. Most importantly, realize that anything you are thankful for appreciates in its value to you. I frequently use the phrase:

What you appreciate, appreciates.

Another wonderful benefit to appreciating things in life, especially people, is the more you appreciate them, the more your behaviors show it. As they see your behaviors, they will become more grateful for you in their life.

What better gift can you give a spouse or friend than being grateful for them and them being grateful for you in return? That makes life worthwhile and is what life is all about!

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” Voltaire (1694–1778)

Final thoughts

If you are thankful with daily consistency, you will develop the habit of an attitude of gratitude, and your life will be forever changed and improved. This habit alone will add a great deal of calm, peace, joy, and health to your life, which is invaluable!

Take the wisdom of a man who kept an attitude of gratitude despite his life being cut short in a Nazi concentration camp:

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906–1945)

I challenge you to go forth and be grateful every day so you can live the best life possible!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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