It’s no lie that many people aren’t happy with their lives. At some point, every one of us goes through a phase where life is filled with uncertainty and dissatisfaction. And most likely, all of us know someone that might be going through a rough patch right now.
A person can be unsatisfied with their career and think they can be doing more. Or they can be ungrateful towards their relationship and take their partner for granted along with endless other possibilities.
Frankly, many problems can be solved by simply acknowledging what we have and learning to appreciate it. That’s called the attitude of gratitude, and in this article, we’ll talk about why gratitude is important and discuss how adopting it will change your life for the better.
Attitude of Gratitude Explained
Having an attitude of gratitude means you’re making a conscious effort to be thankful and appreciate every aspect of your life, especially the good things.
You create a new mindset that focuses on the positives in your life and is grateful for the bad things that happened to you and, most importantly, learn from them.
You’re an outcome of everything you’ve done. And you choose what to get out of your life’s experiences, whether that’s to dwell on the past or be grateful for what it has taught you.
How an Attitude of Gratitude Will Change Your Life
You can be confident that more gratitude practice will bring a ton of benefits to your life in a few different areas. You might also want to try some gratitude guided meditation to help you achieve those results faster.
You can expect emotional improvements. You’ll experience more joy and optimism towards life in general while noticing a significant decrease in envy and depression.
Some physical benefits you may notice are a reduced level of stress hormones, which, in turn, helps you sleep better, improves your immune system, and adjusts your blood pressure.
Some psychological benefits are your ability to acknowledge your negative thoughts and have more control over resolving your issues, therefore having more success with reaching your goals and being less judgemental.
When you acknowledge the good things in life, your relationships with people become stronger, and it’s easier for you to build bonds, and you’ll constantly be reminded of how amazing a genuine loving relationship is.
Not to mention, an attitude of gratitude improves your self-confidence. Since you’re not too busy obsessing over other people’s achievements and belongings, you can focus on improving yourself, which builds up your self-esteem and gives you the ability to enjoy the present and have more optimistic days.
What Should We Be Grateful For?
Some might think their lives aren’t worth feeling grateful towards, but that’s wrong. We tend to concentrate on the bad things that happen to us, which is extremely unhealthy.
There’s so much to be thankful for. But, unfortunately, we might not see it, and, in some cases, we realise how important those things were to us when it’s too late and we no longer have them.
So we went to work and compiled a little gratitude list to remind us that there’s so much we have, and we should make more of an effort to be more thankful for them.
This one is often overlooked but is so important. Being healthy allows us to see, talk to, and spend time with those we love.
Being in good health is essentially freedom. We can play ball in the park or go grocery shopping without giving it a second thought. We can do whatever we want, whenever we want.
If we weren’t the way we are today, we wouldn’t experience the true beauty of being independent.
Our Relationships and Friendships
Expressing our gratitude to those we love benefits our relationships and strengthens our bonds.
We should realize how lucky we are to have people who love and support us because, no matter what we’re going through, the feeling of love and emotional safety we get from our friends and family assure us that everything will eventually be okay.
Your significant other also needs to feel your appreciation and love. Having someone love you and put their trust in you is, in some cases, enough to start a life and start a family. That’s got to count for something, and you should always show your gratitude to that person.
We should take pride in what we do for a living, no matter how big or small the amount of money we make. We choose to go to work and make better lives for ourselves and our families.
The mistakes we make define who we are, and we don’t become the more mature, more self-aware people we are today without learning the lessons we do from these mistakes, and that’s something we should definitely be grateful for.
There’s no denying that we are privileged, to different degrees, of course, but we are too. We have things that are not available to so many other people, for example, simple life necessities like electricity, clean water, and fresh air. We also have beds to sleep in, different foods to choose from, and entertainment options, among many other things.
The 3 Steps to Starting an Attitude of Gratitude
So you like how the whole thing sounds. But where do you start?
1. Pinpoint the Negative Things in Your Life
First of all, you should have an honest chat with yourself. What’s something negative in your life that brings no real value to you or affects you in a bad way?
It could be a multitude of things. It might be a bad habit you do all the time, like smoking, a toxic peer that makes you feel bad, a poor nutrition plan, or maybe it’s that you don’t exercise enough.
Maybe you’re not happy in your relationship, and you feel like it has a bad impact on your life. Or perhaps it’s your job. So ask yourself this, are you pleased with your job?
Everyone knows exactly what that thing in their life is, but you need to be honest with yourself.
2. Get Started With Fixing Your Problems
On to the more difficult part of the equation: deciding what to do next. You have two options: keep living your life the way it is or do something about the negativity in your life.
Examine your problem. Can you change it? Great, do that. That toxic peer of yours, you don’t need that type of negativity. You don’t like your job? Find something you love and work hard at making a career out of it.
But what if you can’t fix the problem? For example, your height. Then you have to learn to live with it and love yourself the way you are.
3. Appreciate What You Already Have
The last and most crucial step is to look at the full half of the glass. Recognize the positive things in your life and focus on them. The attitude of gratitude definition essentially comes down to learning how to focus on what you have, not what you don’t.
If we live our lives focusing on what other people have and what we’re missing, we’ll spend our days unsatisfied and chasing the next item that makes us feel happy momentarily. And eventually, the hype around that item will fade, and we’ll start chasing the next thing.
Ideas to Start Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude
Consider Starting a Gratitude Journal
What’s a gratitude journal? It’s like a diary where you write things you’re thankful for to remind yourself what’s good in your life and that you should focus on that.
If you’re religious, you could write a gratitude prayer along with what you’re grateful for. If that’s not your style, you could try looking into a gratitude poem or two. You could also experiment with a few gratitude journal prompts.
Try Doing the Three Things Method
We recommend you try this: write three things you’re grateful for in your journal every day. This exercise could be challenging at first, but, eventually, you’ll reap the rewards. Learning to appreciate yourself isn’t an easy thing to do. But this method helps you teach yourself how to do it.
You might not know what three things to write about. Let us tell you; it could be anything. Start with your family, your friends, your work, or your pets.
It could also be food, your love of art, the beauty of nature, or your friendly neighbor. Anything is allowed; you just have to commit to mastering the attitude of gratitude truly.
Surround Yourself With Grateful People
An excellent way to pick up a new habit is to hang out around people that would encourage and support you through it.
There are a lot of people whose social circles are the source of their unhappiness. A person is heavily affected by the company they choose to surround themselves with. If all your friends keep complaining about everything and never appreciating anything, eventually, you’ll be like that as well.
On the other hand, if you surround yourself with people who are grateful for what they have, talk about their blessings, and steer clear from the negative conversations, your mindset will eventually evolve into a healthy one like theirs.
How Being Ungrateful Can Hinder Your Life
You can heavily damage different aspects of your life by not showing gratitude. First of all, you can agree that no one likes an ungrateful person. Most of us know that one person who never appreciates anything or anyone. And most likely, we don’t want to be anywhere around that person.
Constantly being ungrateful also fuels an attitude of entitlement, which can be very destructive to a person’s social life when taken too far, not to mention the added novelty of developing an unhealthy ego that pushes people away.
Common Traits That Hinder Developing an Attitude of Gratitude
There certainly are a lot of bad traits a person can have. And while not all of them are red flags, some directly participate in making people act and feel ungrateful.
Ungrateful people tend to be characterized by a few common traits, which you should try and avoid to develop an attitude of gratitude.
An Excessive Sense of Self-Importance
Also known as narcissism, excessive self-importance is when a person has an exaggerated sense of their importance and deeply requires attention and admiration. As a result, they will always try to make the conversation about themselves, and they generally lack empathy for other people.
People like that will find it difficult to show gratitude since they already think they’re better than everyone else and that no one deserves their gratitude in the first place.
An envious person will always focus on what other people have. They are never satisfied with what they have, and they never truly appreciate the people around them. Envy blinds a person and forces them always to be comparing themselves to other people.
Being genuinely grateful means you have to compare yourself to yourself, not to other people. Appreciate what you’ve got and show gratitude to the people who love you.
Showing an Unusual Level of Materialism
Being a little materialistic isn’t that big of a deal. Everyone likes nice things. But when a person is overly materialistic, they value material things over everything else, like friendships and values.
When a person is like that, your friendship will easily mean less to them than their new car or designer clothes, and you shouldn’t expect any gratitude from them.
To Wrap Up
It’s never a bad idea to start adopting an attitude of gratitude in your life for its many benefits, and it’s easy to start, so go ahead and do it and let us know how it changes your life.