You can easily develop a positive attitude with gratitude. Appreciating what’s going well in your life instead of complaining about what’s going wrong, will lighten and brighten your mood as well as broaden your life perspective.
What we focus on grows in our awareness. If we only pay attention to the problems, irritations and frustrations of life, this is all we’ll see. When we appreciate the little things along with the bigger pleasures, we attract more of this into our life.
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” ~ Epictetus
If you’d like to be inspired by a heartwarming story of how a man turned his life of misery into one of peace and joy, read 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik. And for tips on how to change your attitude into one of gratitude, read on.
Develop a Positive Attitude with Gratitude
As you go through your day, notice how much time you spend focusing on the negatives in your life. Observe your thoughts to see if they are marching to the tune of “poor me, why me, it’s not fair.” Listen to your words as you speak and notice how often you complain about the traffic, weather, your spouse, the government, and world events.
With awareness, you can shift your negative attitude into a positive perspective. Here are 4 ways to do this.
1. Be grateful for the little things. When something magnificent happens or someone does us a grand favor, it’s easy to be grateful. But these don’t happened every day. In order to develop a positive attitude, we need to be thankful for the small blessings as well as the big ones.
Feel gratitude for everything in your life. Be thankful for having a roof over your head, for the electricity that brings heat and light into your home, for the food in your fridge. Show appreciation to everyone who makes your life easier: the cashier at the store, the bank teller, the postal carrier, the gas attendant. As you express your appreciation, it will grow in your heart.
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.” ~ Meister Eckhart
2. Appreciate everyone in your life. It’s easy to be grateful for supportive friends and family, but what happens when someone triggers you, pushes your buttons, or invalidates you in some way? Do you go on a tirade about how awful they are, or can you see the hidden blessings they bring to your life?
View each person that walks into your life as though they have a gift for you. The person who tries to control or manipulate you is there to help you develop clear boundaries. The person who insults you is showing you where you haven’t developed self-esteem yet. Challenge yourself to see the opportunities within every relationship. This will help you develop an attitude of gratitude.
“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.” ~William Faulkner
3. Be thankful for your life experiences. Everything we’ve experienced in life has shaped us into who we are today. Reflect over all of the opportunities, blessings and helpful situations you’ve experienced. Notice how they’ve added to your current circumstances and touch into your gratitude for them.
Now reflect over the difficult situations, but with a positive attitude. Just as individuals provide opportunities for growth and healing, so do challenging times. What strengthened, softened, or developed in you as a result of painful circumstances? Would you have grown into who you are today without these life experiences?
“Praise the bridge that carried you over.” ~George Colman
4. See the bigger picture. If we only look at one small piece of a story, we limit our perspective. We get caught in judging a situation as good or bad, depending on what we see in that moment. But if we broaden our horizon we see an array of possibilities.
When someone tells you of their woes, open your mind and heart to possible positive outcomes. Help others to see alternative perspectives to their situation. And when you find yourself in quandary, become your own best friend and trust that things will work out.
“Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.” ~Kak Sri
Try the above suggestions to see if they help you to develop a positive attitude. And here is a lovely prayer to reflect on each day:
“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do you have any questions or additional insights on how to develop a positive attitude with gratitude? Please share in the comment section.