Practicing the Attitude of Gratitude

At the time of this writing, we are in the season of thanksgiving and many of us are preparing for the holidays. Recently, I have reengaged in practicing the cultivation of a gratitude mindset. 2021 has been a challenging year for sure, but despite the challenges we face, if you look for it, you will find there is much to be thankful for. There is tremendous value in developing the attitude of gratitude.

Photo By: Elzbieta Kosakowska

I believe that thoughts are energy and that our dominant thought patterns influence how we experience life. To focus our thoughts on the problems and challenges we face only strengthens them, stressing us out and weakening us in mind, body, and spirit. An attitude of gratitude changes that. That is not to say that we ignore the challenges we face, they are just not the primary focus of our thought process. Developing the gratitude mindset gets us thinking instead about what is going right in our life and opens the way to solutions. No matter how big or small, there is always something we can be grateful for.

In her book Quantum Success, author Sandra Anne Taylor writes: “Your consciousness is always in the process of creating! You need to direct its energy to the emotions and experiences you want, not the conditions you’re trying to get away from. If you keep focusing on your problems, that’s just what you’ll attract—more problems. Instead, you must direct your attention to your solutions.”

I couldn’t agree more. I find that an attitude of gratitude redirects our energy, generates a spirit of hope, and opens the door to solution-oriented thinking. How do you get yourself started cultivating an attitude of gratitude? You start with the little things we often take for granted. It doesn’t require any formal rituals. It’s as simple as making regular “I am grateful for” statements throughout the course of each day. Silently, out loud, it doesn’t matter. Making it a habitual daily practice is what matters most.

Do you have people you love and who love you in your life? Make it a daily practice of stating “I am grateful for the people I love and for those who love me.”

Photo by: Pablo Nidam

Can you have at least one meal a day, and decide what the meal will be? Make it a daily practice of stating “I am grateful for the opportunity to enjoy this meal.”

Can you watch a movie, favorite tv show, or listen to some music? Make it a daily practice of stating “I am grateful for the opportunity to watch this show or listen to this music, and for the device I’m using to do so.”

Can you take at least one shower a day? Make it a daily practice of stating “I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to take this shower.”

I think you get the point. It is not complicated. It just requires a shift in thinking and developing the habit by practicing it daily for the simplest of things. The little things we take for granted and often overlook. If we are honest with ourselves and we look at life from this perspective, we will find that even in the face of challenges, there is still much to be thankful for. I have found the practice highly beneficial and will continue to work on making it second nature. I encourage you to do the same. Until next time, I am grateful for the opportunity to sit down and express these thoughts. Namaste.