4 Tips for Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude
My grandmother passed away on Thanksgiving 6 years ago. This time of year I’m always a bit nostalgic and thankful for the beautiful memories I created with her. When I was little I spent an insane amount of time with my Grandmother. She was one of those people who would do anything to make you feel over-the-moon happy, including the numerous years of letting me think that I was on my way to becoming a professional at Skip-Bo or Euchre. Her house was the place where I crafted my first blanket fort out of kitchen chairs and her best bedspread. The place where I could comprise a dinner made solely out of chocolate chips and cheesecake filling. She was one of those people who was in love with everything I did no matter how great or not great it was. A true testimony of what unconditional love looks and feels like.
Although Thanksgiving comes with a bittersweet reminder of her absence, it’s a time of year that I have the reminder that life is incredibly unpredictable. It’s the slap-in-the-face time of year where I remember how quickly things can change and how important the people in my life are. Maintaining an attitude of gratitude in this crazy world is not an easy task, but comes with numerous benefits to your mental, emotional, and physical health. In case you are having a difficult time cultivating gratitude in your life here are a few tips to get you by:
1. Say it out loud. Verbal expressions of gratitude are powerful. Tell those people around you how important they are to you. Remind them of a time or place that was significant and a moment they may have underestimated the impact they had on you. Like that time your best friend bought you M&M’s and wine when you were trapped in the house for 4 days straight with two children who had the stomach bug (Thank you Sam). You begin to feel really blessed when you are reflecting on what a hot mess you were and how many amazing people sat with you through some really dark moments. Or that time you went back and forth on a decision for 4 weeks straight and your friends patiently listened and pretended that you weren’t obsessing about the same exact thing only to arrive at the same conclusion you had the first time you talked about it. People need reminders that they are awesome and what better way to make someone feel good than by telling them how valued and loved they are? Shoot those folks a text today. Inspiring feelings of value is one of the most instant ways to raise the vibrations of yourself and others.
2. Do it daily. Gratitude is a mental practice and studies show that when you practice gratitude daily it not only helps your mental state but also can help your physical state by reducing daily stress. Knowing that you have to find five things that you are thankful for each day can also help you begin screening for positivity throughout your day. What a better way to begin a fast track to a positive lifestyle than implementing this as a daily practice? Take moments that would typically suck and see if you can find the cool things about them. For example, Stuck in a traffic jam? Take the moment to be grateful you have a car. Be grateful that you have enough gas to make it out of the traffic jam. Be grateful for the extra time in the car to chill out and dust off that old Match Box 20 CD that has been stuffed in your glove compartment for years on end.
3. Fake it. If you can’t naturally come to a place of gratitude or if things have just been so rough that it's difficult, here’s a fun fact for you: our brains have NO clue what is perception and what is reality. We can work ourselves into a total frenzy by simply thinking about something that COULD occur. Our bodies and brains would respond as if that situation is actually occurring because it doesn’t know that it's not. Which is COOL because you can also do the opposite with encouraging positive emotions. Go through the motions of imaging what it might feel like to be grateful. Practice smiling. Smiling is powerful as it triggers neurons connecting to positivity and happiness. Say thank you often. Speaking words associated with gratitude like thank you inspires neurological connections directly related to gratitude. The more you practice these things the more it will become natural. Beliefs that develop are only thoughts that we keep thinking and by continuing to put time and energy into gratitude-esque things we inspire feelings within us that link us to feeling more grateful on a regular basis.
4. Help someone. This sounds simple, but the best way to feel thankful for what you have is by helping someone in need, volunteer your time at a hospital, a center devoted to crisis recovery, or spend time with veterans. You would be amazed at the power of altruistic acts and the deep connection with gratitude. Plus, helping out is a bad ass life move. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
So to be in practice with what I’m preaching, I want to use this blog post as more or less a big giant thank you to anyone who has impacted my life. Anyone who has pushed me when I wanted to quit or believed in me when I couldn't believe in myself. Anyone who has supported my vision, my blind leaps of faith, and my impulsiveness. This post is a thank you to the difficult people who have revealed my true resiliency. It’s a thank you to the people who have forgiven me for my mistakes.
To all of my wonderful Clarity supporters. Thank you for allowing me to wake up every single day and live my purpose. Thank you for trusting me to be a part of your journey and to share your vulnerability with me. I have been blessed to meet the most incredible people in my lifetime and that list keeps growing.
A little thank you from Clarity: We are doing a FREE webinar of our most popular class so that you can receive a little bit of Clarity at home. Space is limited so get registered for the FREE Law of Attraction Webinar, Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 at 8pm.
Posted on Wed, November 25, 2015
by Nichole Eaton filed under