Lots of people talk about having an attitude of gratitude, but attitude alone is not enough.
Gratitude is not only about belief, it is about purposeful action.
Allen Klein, former manager of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, said: “Your attitude is like a box of crayons that colour your world. Constantly colour your picture grey, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colours to the picture by including humour, and your picture begins to lighten up.”
He makes an important, because you cannot be grateful and depressed at the same time.
Gratitude is the antidote to fear, anxiety and depression. Practice it daily and you will see your life change.
I deliberately use the word practice.
Like anything in life, sustainable and consistent outcomes are the result of our daily habits or practices. If you want to feel grateful for the things in your life, you have to make a practice of appreciating them.
The idea of practicing gratitude may feel a little weird to begin with, but trust me, it is worth it.
One of the biggest shifts in my life has been since I started making time daily to look at my life and find reasons to be grateful. Initially it was easier to find things to complain about, until over time the balance shifted and I started to notice more and more reasons to celebrate being alive.
The whole “attitude of gratitude” is a great phrase, but I’m not sure it is real, because it is not only about the thoughts.
The real benefits come from the ACTION of gratitude.
When you first start trying to practice gratitude, you may find yourself arguing with your inner dialogue, but keep going. With consistent effort the practice of gratitude works.
Personally I keep a gratitude journal, which I keep next to my bed and write in every night. Everyday I write at least 3 things I am grateful for in that day – and I make sure they are different to the day before!
Somedays it is harder than others to find 3 or more things to be grateful for, but they are always there. It can be things like the sun shining or warm clothes on a cold day. Sometimes it can be things like the support of my amazing mum or my beautiful children. Occasionally it is just that I survived another day!
I find falling asleep grateful also sets me up for the following day.
This is one daily habit I suspect I will be doing until the day I die.
In the words of Aristotle: ”We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”
If you want to get better at yoga, you practice yoga. If you want to improve at running, you run. If you want to improve in your career or business, you practice the skills you need to improve in. Gratitude is the same and the more you practice, the more your will find to be grateful for.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
John F. Kennedy
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