Forming an “Attitude of Gratitude” is the next step for those who are interested in feeling the warm and fuzzy sensation of noticing, expressing, and feeling gratitude. Incorporating gratitude and its numerous benefits is, as has been mentioned, a practice. This practice involves practicing being grateful in moments. Those who are committed to the “Attitude of gratitude” will tell you that gratitude leads to happiness and happiness leads to more happiness! By developing and practicing an attitude of gratitude we are taking responsibility for own our happiness! And the greatest part? This does not need to be abstract or beyond your reach. The purpose of this section is to offer you a Gratitude Starter Kit with enough tools to begin equipping your own Gratitude Tool Belt.
In order to make an Attitude of Gratitude a part of your daily life it must become a habit — one that leads to a shift, after time, in the way you interact with yourself, your community, and your environment. For some tips on forming habits, see the section on ‘Forming a Gratitude Habit’.
In regards to which activity, how often, and to what intensity, find what works for you! Everyone is unique; allow yourself time to create and discover your own practice : ) Here are some steps to get you going on your gratitude journey:
1) This one is mentioned a lot so there must be some value to it: Start a gratitude journal. This could be on a daily or weekly basis, whichever works best for you. Make some time in your day to write down things in your life that you are grateful for. This could be relationships, pets, your job, your family, that your favorite character is still alive on your weekly show. Anything! Frame your gratitude in a positive light and resist the urge to frame it around someone else lacking something “I’m grateful that my parents don’t yell at me like Sarah’s do.” vs. “I’m grateful for the relationship I have with my parents.” See the difference? The latter will feel better and cultivate a more uplifting and positive attitude.
Tips on starting a gratitude journal
2) Make a gratitude jar! Write down things you are grateful for throughout the week. Then set aside a time at the end of the week to read what you have written down. This can be a personal or family/roommate/romantic partner/etc activity.
3) Model gratitude for those around you. Gratitude is contagious; sharing your grateful mood will inspire those around you and spread to everyone you meet.
4) Feeling like there’s nothing to be grateful for? Smile! Try holding a pen lengthwise between your teeth. The position will utilize your smile muscles and you may find yourself lightening as your engage the muscles and trick your brain into happiness.
6) Take this quiz to find out how grateful you are and steps you can take to increase your “score”
7) The Twelve Days of Wellbeing Workbook
8) Google “Attitude of Gratitude” to explore more!
9) Take time to enjoy nature! Go for a walk. Touch moss! Pet a puppy. Smell a rose. Look at the clouds. Hike, run, laugh, play! You get it: savor : )
10) Take the Gratitude Challenge with Thnx4
11) Action: Three Good Things
13) Gratitude polaroids! Have a polaroid camera in your house, around the office, or community space. When you notice someone doing an action that you are grateful for, take a picture! Pin up the pictures on a board, on the fridge, or another another communal space where you can all see the reminders of your greatness!
14) Send an eCard
1) Acknowledge yourself and others, to yourself and others.
2) Instead of counting sheep before bed, count your blessings: As you drift off to sleep, meditate on what you are grateful for from that day. This practice helps promote deeper and more consistent sleep as you won’t be thinking about all your worries instead. Listen to Bing, he says it best : ) Song: “I Count My Blessings Instead of Sheep”
Need a boost? Have a read: How to Have an Attitude of Gratitude
Also, check out How to Increase Happiness with Science-Based Activities for tips on how to avoid Hedonic Adaptation – when the warm fuzzy of a new and exciting experience fades into the norm.
Note: Don’t let the “Attitude of Gratitude” be the last stop on your grateful journey… You are capable of so much more. Check out the next segment on “Gratitude as a Way of Being”.
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” —Willie Nelson
“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
“People report the greatest benefit from the gratitude-based exercises, especially the gratitude letter.” ―Jeff Huffman
Videos and Songs
- “Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World,” Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
- “Thank You,” Dido
- “Home,” Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
- “Shelter from the Storm,” Bob Dylan
- “Dancing In The Moonlight,” King Harvest
- “Thank You,” Led Zeppelin
- “Give Thanks & Praises,” Bob Marley & The Wailers
- “I’m a Believer,” The Monkees
- “Beautiful Day,” U2
- “Heaven Is A Place On Earth,” Belinda Carlisle
- “How Sweet It Is [To Be Loved By You],” James Taylor
- “Your Song,” Ellie Goulding or Elton John’s original version : )
- “Wind Beneath My Wings,” Bette Midler
- “Come On Get Higher,” Matt Nathanson
- “Lovesong,” Adele
- “Time After Time,” Iron & Wine
- Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
- Gratitude – Earth, Wind, and Fire
- Article Summary Action Points
Modeling and Encouraging Acts of Gratitude for Your Children This article discusses the importance of teaching gratitude to children in order for them to lead happier and healthier lives. The author offers 5 practices to teach Gratitude and 5 practices NOT to teach to children. Whether you are a parent or not, consider using these practices as action points and reminders within the discovery of your own practice. Five Ways to Make the Most of Your Gratitude This article compiles the most common patterns of practicing Gratitude learned by studying the comments and experiences of those who used the Thanx4 online journal created by the Greater Good. If you have not taken a look at the Thanx4 challenge, do so! You can also take note of the common practices and start your own gratitude journal. The Secret to Danish Happiness This article illustrates the Danish practice of ‘hygge’ in relation to raising happy children. In essence, ‘hygge’ or ‘cozy’ is creating sacred, intentional time for family togetherness. Get cozy! Make time with friends and family for intentional together-time. And make a cozy place for yourself with some candles, a cup of tea, and a good book ‘An Attitude of Gratitude’ and the 5:1 Ratio During the Holidays For many, the holidays can be a stressful time. This article aims to remind readers to remember continue their gratitude practice through this time especially to connect to the joy of being together. Although this article refers to the holidays, remember that practicing gratitude can be daily : )