Attitude of Gratitude: What It Looks Like and How to Grow It

by | May 15, 2023 | Personal Development

An attitude of gratitude is something we often don’t think about when we are planning our day. It turns out, all of us should if we want to be happier, healthier, and have better relationships. Here’s how.

Gratitude Defined

So, what is an attitude of gratitude? Simply put, it’s recognizing the blessings in your life and the privilege you’ve received. Sometimes just recognizing it is enough to put a smile on your face. Extending your gratitude and thanking those you are grateful for is a great way to improve the lives of others too.

A pink and black graphic contains the phrase, "When eating fruit, remember the one who planted the tree."

Benefits of Gratitude

Many of us are able to recognize the physical effects of being happy, and being a grateful person is the same idea. By recognizing what you are grateful for every day, you will sleep better, have a better mindset for your day, and improve your self-esteem, just to name a few physical benefits. Gratitude is an awesome stress reliever: it refocuses your mind on the positives in your life.

It’s a game-changer in your relationships too, both personal and professional. Habits of gratitude lead to greater empathy for others and lower your aggressive behavior in a moment of stress—talk about a leadership skill! Think about the type of leader you are after a relaxing day doing your favorite things versus a day when you have been in meetings, can’t get anything done, and are stressed. The difference is astonishing, so why wouldn’t you want to practice gratitude? Read more benefits of gratitude here!

How to Be Grateful

Cultivating this is just as important as recognition. Like muscles, if you stop exercising, your gratitude will wither away. Here’s a few ideas.

Keep a gratitude journal. This can be a physical book or a note in your phone. Set time every day to think about your day and write the things you are grateful for, no matter how small.

Set a repeating timer on your phone or smart watch to go off every hour. When the alarm sounds, stop what you are doing and think of something positive in your life right now. Continue doing this until being grateful is part of your daily habits.

Repeat your “positives” out loud before you go to bed. By saying it aloud, a different part of your brain is engaged, and will further cement the habit.

Gratitude Questions

If you are having a hard time coming up with things you are grateful for, here are some brainstorming prompts to ask yourself.

  • What did I wear today? How did these clothes come to me? How many hands did they pass through before I got them? Am I grateful for their hands?
  • What did I eat today? Where were the ingredients planted and grown? Am I grateful for that soil and sun?
  • What conversations did I have today that lifted me up?
  • What talents of mine did I use today? How did I come by this talent?
  • What role did technology play in my day?
  • What was the most beautiful thing I saw?
  • What is my favorite part of my home?
  • Did anything make my job easier today?
  • What made you genuinely smile or laugh today?
  • Which of your basic human needs were met without much effort today?

Use this list as a springboard for your gratitude practices in your day.

The blessings in our lives are often taken for granted because we don’t stop to think about the little things in life that happen without even trying. By becoming a grateful person, you will elevate your life and leadership to new heights.

Want to continue to change your mindset for the better? Read our blog, “Mindsets That You Need to Live Your Best Life.”