An Attitude of Gratitude: 5 Easy Tools

  • Posted by Dr. Jay Gordon

As Thanksgiving approaches, we’re reminded of the importance of gratitude in our everyday lives. “Gratitude” is a word that is thrown around a lot, but is it something we actually practice? More importantly, how do we learn to adopt an attitude of gratitude? Many zen masters say that the key to true happiness is to be grateful for what is, not what we wish to be. In other words, happiness is finding without looking, not looking without finding. Without further ado, here are 5 easy tools that will help you become a more grateful person.

 

1. Notice the Small Things:

Each day, look around and notice little things to be grateful for. It could be something as small as your child’s smile, having a roof over your head, or the beautiful sunrise. We often take our health for granted. If you’re healthy, you definitely have something to be grateful for!

 

2. Communicate Your Gratitude:

Let your loved ones and people close to you know that you’re grateful to have them in your life. Also, be grateful to everyone from the busboy who’s serving you coffee to your child’s teacher at school. Smile and express your warmth to all of humanity. Everyone deserves a little kindness and gentleness.

 

3. Make a Gratitude List:

Take a few minutes each morning or late evening to write down 5 to 10 things you’re grateful for. These don’t have to be big things. As a matter of fact, it’s better if they’re small things.  This is about getting into a habit of being grateful for all that’s around you.

 

4. Being Grateful Because You are You:

The habit of being grateful towards yourself is a wonderful way to enhance your self-worth. What are some things you’re grateful for in yourself? Are you funny? Patient with your children? Kind? It’s not about external achievements so much as qualities of character that make you special.

 

5. Read Books or Blogs That Inspire Gratitude in You:

The Positivity Blog

Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi

Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life

Gratitude Soup by Olivia Rosewood (a great children’s book)

 

Not only does practicing gratitude make us feel better, but it also teaches our children to live happier, more fulfilling lives. Children model our behaviors, and if we are authentically grateful people, they can’t help but be grateful as well.

In Gratitude,

Simone and Melanie