Making an attitude change is complicated enough, but it is perhaps particularly so when it comes to gratitude. Phrases like “mindfulness” and “gratitude” have been co-opted by corporations to the extent that their mere mentioning can make you feel like someone is trying to sell you something.
This is unfortunate, because an authentic attitude of gratitude is fundamental to a happy and fulfilling existence. It is a means of escaping the harsh cynicism that has become so prevalent in the public sphere. If you would like to cultivate your attitude of gratitude, there are simple and easy ways to get started:
Table of Contents
Make Appreciation a Habit
To change something fundamental about yourself, you need to practice every day. This is especially true when it comes to one’s attitude and personal behavior.
If you are trying to develop an authentic sense of gratitude, it helps to express gratefulness for the things you genuinely appreciate in life on a daily basis. This could be something at your job, in your social circle, or even in your home.
Expressing gratitude toward the things you appreciate bestows them with value and helps you redirect your time to the components of your life that serve you and make you happy.
Once you have made appreciation an everyday habit, an authentic sense of gratitude will flow naturally.
Be Thankful for Opportunities
Opportunities are not always easy to come by. Every journey is unique, and people process situations differently with the individual tools they have at their disposal.
This is why it is crucial to recognize and be thankful for the opportunities that come your way, no matter how small. This principle especially applies to difficult situations, which can be opportunities in and of themselves.
Empathy is an essential human emotion. Much of the negativity in our world occurs because people forgo their sense of empathy, or possibly never cultivated one to begin with.
Empathy enables human beings to do some amazing things. A sense of empathy allows you to recognize the misfortunes of others and use your unique gifts to help them out however you can. By learning to cultivate empathy, you can improve the lives of others, which will inevitably improve your own.
Talk to People
It is important to make an effort to not only talk to people when you need something, but also when you can simply initiate a conversation to establish a connection with another person.
Reaching out with sincerity and engaging with your fellow human beings is one of the most rewarding and caring things you can do with your time. Doing so when you have nothing to gain demonstrates a resolute commitment to living authentically.
Talking to people is also a great way to develop self-knowledge. Was there a reason you thought about a particular topic, or hesitated to discuss something? You may think of human interaction as only benefiting your social life, but these interactions can also prove invaluable for the personalized interior of your most private thoughts.
The Greatness of Gratitude
You probably know by now that life is not always sunshine and rainbows. You may have to deal with varying degrees of loss and hardship and still figure out how to put your best foot forward.
In these challenging times, the easiest response is to become hardened and cynical about the nature of the world. But the gracious response sidesteps toxic self-interest and orients thoughts toward more productive endeavors.
Cultivating an authentic attitude of gratitude will train your thoughts to center on the positive. Instead of walking through the supermarket thinking about how horrible the fluorescent lighting and outdated ‘90s soundtrack is, you could be thinking about the absurd humor of it all.
When you approach the checkout clerk, engage them in a way that demonstrates an appreciation of their time and makes them happy. Chances are that it will make you feel happy, too.
As you continue to practice an attitude of gratitude, you will find yourself more at peace with yourself and the world around you. Little things that previously bothered you will soon seem trivial. You will gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the wonderful things in your life. Best of all, authentic gratitude is contagious.