How to Rethink Your Attitude for More Gratitude
Did you know gratitude is one of the most powerful scientifically-proven tools available to you for a more satisfying and successful life?
Numerous research studies have linked grateful people to enjoying quality-of-life-enhancers like:
- Fewer aches and pains
- Increased happiness and reduced depression, as well as toxic emotions such as resentment, envy, frustration and regret
- The ability to receive negative feedback with more grace
- Better quality of sleep (and staying asleep longer)
- Resilience in times of trauma and other tough situations
All good stuff, especially as things get busier this time of year. You can count on me to be a loving and supportive nudge so you can make shifts that translate into a happier you.
An attitude of gratitude is one of those shifts that allows you to be more empowered, more resilient and more productive regardless of your external circumstances.
“You have to find a new way to think in order to master a new way to be.”
What this means for you is that in order to experience the quality-of-life-enhancing of benefits of being grateful, you must rethink gratitude. Why? Because an attitude of gratitude is a way of being, not just something you practice when it’s easy.
Rethinking gratitude allows you to go from practicing gratitude and experiencing a fraction of its benefits during life’s ups, to having an attitude of gratitude that expands its benefits during life’s ups and downs.
The reality is that it’s easier to practice gratitude when things are going your way than when you’re feeling stuck.
No doubt it’s easier to practice gratitude when:
- You get enough sleep
- You are enjoying the work you’re doing
- You get to leave work on time
- You feel supported by your partner
- Your kids are on their best behavior
- You get the job you’ve been wanting
But what happens when:
- Your anxiety about work keeps you up at night
- You get stuck on an uninspiring project
- You pull an all-nighter to meet a deadline
- Someone you love questions the amount of time you’ve put into following your dream
- Your kids won’t stop screaming at each other
- You get passed over for your dream job
Remember: You always have a choice. You don’t have to limit yourself to being satisfied and gratified only when things are going your way.
How to Rethink Your Attitude for More Gratitude Regardless of What Happens
I understand it’s a lot easier to count your blessings when something great happens than when you hit a bump in the road. But when you take a minute to consider the people, situations and experiences you might take for granted when things aren’t going your way, you’ll find satisfaction and a sense of meaning in your life, relationships and work regardless of your external circumstances.
So you might be grateful for:
- The anxiety you’re feeling about work because it means you have a job/work to care about
- The uninspiring project because it means you have skills that were valued enough for someone to hire you
- The all-nighter because it means you have focus and drive to follow through
- The loved one who’s questioning the time you’re putting toward your dream because it means you have someone in your life who cares about you
- Your screaming kids because it means you have healthy, energetic kids
- The job you didn’t get because you have the opportunity to go after or accept something that’s an even better fit
Your Right-Sized Action Step is to rethink your attitude anytime you find yourself facing an obstacle and consider the people, situations and experiences you might be taking for granted.
NOTE: This isn’t about lying to yourself about life’s annoyances or frustrations. It’s about having an expanded perspective that empowers you to maximize your success and happiness regardless of external circumstances.
To get you started, here’s my list of 10 unlikely things to be grateful for:
- The mess to clean up after experimenting with a new dish because it means I have the time to do something I love.
- My business expenses because it means I have support to help me do work that fills me up and helps others.
- The disagreement I had with my husband because it means I’m sharing my life with someone who loves me and is an active participant in our relationship.
- The sand on the kitchen counter because it means I got to start the day with coffee on the beach with my love.
- The need to close the shutters every afternoon because it means I live somewhere warm with lots of sunshine.
- My crackly voice at the end of the day because it means I spent the day contributing to a positive ripple effect in the world.
- The almost empty bottle of conditioner in the shower because it means I have been consistent with keeping my hair hydrated.
- My sore muscles after a hike because it means I am healthy and fit enough to be physically active.
- The birds that chirp in the early morning hours because it means I live in a tropical, warm weather location all-year around.
- The noise from the construction in the building next door because it means I live in a well-maintained community.
Let’s keep the gratitude flowing. I’d love to hear from you. What are you grateful for this very moment?