“If you concentrate on what you have, you’ll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.” Lewis Howes.

That’s a powerful statement and is so true. Living with an attitude of gratitude can completely change your outlook on life, improve your health and help you truly be thankful for what you have.

Attitude-of-Gratitude

How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

Being thankful is something we should be doing more often than Thanksgiving. While it is wonderful having a holiday dedicated to spending time with loved ones and reflecting on all of our blessings, it would be even better if we could keep the spirit of Thanksgiving going all year long.

It may not always be easy to think of good things in your life when it feels like everything is going wrong and the stress is piling on. But, if we are constantly thinking about the little things in the day that set us off or dwelling on things that we don’t have, how does it make us feel? It usually leaves us feeling irritated, angry and resentful. It can lead to full day or week-long pity parties that are hard to get out of. That often leads to more stress, anxiety and/or depression.

Here are some benefits to being thankful:

  • Decreases stress, anxiety and depression. Like I mentioned above, dwelling on good things instead of bad can pull us out of a funk and help us see how much good is in our lives.
  • Increases feelings of wellbeing and improves mood.  Being thankful is a way to get out of a bad funk or mood.
  • Improves physical health. Studies have shown that living with an attitude of gratitude can lower blood pressure, strengthen immune system and reduce symptoms of illness.
  • Improves sleep. When you are constantly worried and thinking of all the things that went wrong or what you don’t have, chances are you won’t get a good sleep. When you reflect on good things about your day before you go to sleep, you are more likely to fall asleep faster and have a more restful sleep.
  • Strengthens relationships. Being thankful can make us feel more connected to others and more appreciative of our relationships. When we look at those close to us in a positive light and feel grateful for having them in our lives, we feel closer to them and we will treat them better as well.
  • Makes us more generous. When you are more grateful, you’re more likely to be more giving and compassionate. It helps us to look outside of ourselves and think of others more.

How to Practice Gratitude

Gratitude
If you are a more negative person by nature, it can take some time to switch to being more grateful and positive. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes daily practice to rewire your brain into being able to more automatically see the good in life and people. But, with small step and daily commitment it can be done.

Here are some simple steps to implement in your daily life to increase thankfulness:

  • Count your blessings. Make a list of all the things you can think of that you are thankful for. You may be surprised how many you come up with.  I once tried to think of 100 things I was thankful for and write them down.  I thought it would be so hard to think of that many things, but once I started, so many things came to me that I normally took for granted.
  • End each day thinking of three things from the day that you are thankful for. If you have had a rough day, this may be a frustrating exercise, but if you have had food to eat and clothes to wear, there are two things right there to appreciate. One practice I do with my girls when I put them to bed at night is, for each negative thing they say about their day, they need to say at least one positive thing. That way they realize that even if they had a bad day, there’s something good in their day to be thankful for.
  • Start a gratitude journal. There is something about writing things down that helps us to remember things more and makes it more real.  Journaling can improve your mood and give you a greater sense of emotional well-being.  It is a good stress-reliever. Start writing a journal of things you are thankful for everyday and then go back and read it when things are tough or you’re having a stressful day. It can be a good pick-me-up when you’re feeling down.
  • Write down things about yourself that you’re thankful for. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small and don’t compare yourself to others. It is so much easier to point out our flaws or things we are not good at.  But, try to make a practice of looking for the good things about yourself. Speak positive affirmations about yourself when you wake up in the morning.  It’s a good way to start your day in the right frame of mind.
  • Give more compliments to others. Show appreciation to other people and compliment something about them, whether it’s something they’re wearing or something they’ve done that you are thankful for. It can completely turn someone’s day around. It always feels good to get a compliment from someone, so let’s pay it forward and speak up when you notice something good in someone.  Also, accept compliments from others too.  Instead of down-playing what they said, just say a simple ‘thank you’. By accepting the compliment, you show gratitude for the other person’s nice words.Thankful

A Good Attitude Makes a Difference

As you can see, developing a grateful attitude takes time and practice but it is a worthwhile effort. It can have such a positive effect on your life and also those around you. Why not grab a journal and pen and start counting your blessings today! I’d love to hear from you some things you have tried that help you be more thankful, or what a difference being thankful has made in your life. Comment below with your thoughts!


12 Comments

Heidi · December 2, 2019 at 2:17 pm

I LOVE this! Having an attitude of gratitude can most definitely make a huge and positive difference in your life! I have tried to be aware of other people around me to share sincere compliments and express gratitude for the little things like opening a door for me. There is so much good happening to us every day, I think it is so important to make it a point to recognize those things and pay it forward to others. Thank you for sharing this great reminder to be grateful all year long!

    Carla · December 2, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks Heidi! Glad you enjoyed the post. It’s so beneficial all around to be more thankful.

Sharon Semado · December 2, 2019 at 2:21 pm

Beautiful content! Being grateful with the little goes a long way, as it does decreases stress!
Good Site to boost encouragement!

    Carla · December 2, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it!

Yama · December 2, 2019 at 4:06 pm

I completely agree. Great post. Being thankful for everything that you have is the way to live. Unfortunately, for many it doesn’t work that way. No matter how much they have, they don’t realize what you they is actually someone else’s desire who doesn’t have much in life. Be it, house, car, anything that makes the life complete. Being thankful is also good for the mind and body.

    Carla · December 3, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Indeed. There are so many things we take for granted. Having a home to go to every day, food to eat and clothes to wear..these are things that so many don’t have. We have so much to be grateful for. Thanks for your comment!

Jesse Lee · December 2, 2019 at 8:36 pm

Inspiring post!
I try to practice being grateful for what I have but there are still times where I get caught up in my own struggles. There are many things to be grateful for and taking the time to reminder yourself of this, especially when you are feeling negative or overwhelmed by life, can really help change your outlook on life.
I like what you said about celebrating the small accomplishments because this is something that I do regularly. I try to keep a list of things each day that I have completed in order to remember just how much I got done in a single day.
Sometimes we can all get caught up in whatever is stressing us out and forget that there are so many little and big things to appreciate more in life.
I will try to add more gratitude in my life.
Thank you for sharing this message!

    Carla · December 3, 2019 at 11:22 am

    You are so right. It’s easy to get caught up in what’s happening to us and dwell on that instead of dwelling on our blessings. I have a picture in my living room that says “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” It’s a good reminder to appreciate the small things that we take for granted. Thanks for your comment!

jaime 36 · December 3, 2019 at 3:05 am

After reading this post I realized how long it’s been since I’ve given thanks. I’ve been under a lot of stress for a while and I only see the negative.
thank you for making me remember all the good things I have and focus on the positive.
the routine of the day to day makes us forget important things

    Carla · December 3, 2019 at 11:19 am

    It can be so easy to get stuck in that negative cycle when we’re in the midst of stress. I totally get it. It definitely takes practice to look for the positive. Glad you enjoyed the post!

Ali · December 5, 2019 at 2:06 am

What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for information about the attitude of gratitude and when I landed on your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in detail.
So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for everyone who is interested in this topic.
I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to reading your new posts.)

Thanks!

    Carla · December 9, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed my post and that it was helpful! Thanks for your comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *