Now more than ever, it can be tough to see the good in the world. With things changing so rapidly, and with so much out of our control, feeling lost, hopeless, upset, and angry is entirely normal — and expected.
But one thing that you can control is your outlook, and having a positive perspective on the universe around you is more essential than you may think. Having a good attitude can be the difference between the worst and best days of your life.
There is lots to be upset about, but there is even more to be happy about, so waking up and appreciating every aspect of life will foster better mental and physical health down the road. This is called an attitude of gratitude.
Let’s look a bit deeper into this essential state of being.
What Does It Mean To Have an Attitude of Gratitude?
On a bad day, it’s easy to focus on what we don’t have. Things we lack or yearn for often come to the forefront of our brains, especially when we are in a bit of a rut.
Having an attitude of gratitude means you operate from a place of abundance, focusing on what you do have. Grateful people give thanks for everything in their life, even when it feels like the entire world is pitted against you.
This can be tough, because it means you need to separate your feelings of gratitude from the circumstances occurring in your life. It means finding the silver linings in between all of the darkness, despite them being exceptionally difficult to uncover.
For example, if you have a bad day at work, you can be grateful that you have a job and are able to sustain your own livelihood. This is much more healthy than lamenting over your rough day.
This isn’t to say you can’t still feel upset over situations. However, the main goal is to keep looking at the glass as half-full, making sure that negativity does not overpower your entire day.
Having an attitude of gratitude is a sustainable practice that you can try to hone every single day at any time. It turns what we have into enough, and then some.
Why Is It Important To Be Grateful?
The effects of positive thinking are even more far-reaching than you might realize. Being grateful can have a number of mental and physical health benefits.
Researchers continue to explore exactly why and how positive thinking can benefit your behavior. Studies suggest that positive mindsets can increase life span, lower rates of depression and stress, improve cardiovascular health, and build resistance to the common cold.
It’s unclear precisely why this works, but one theory is that an attitude of gratitude can enable you to better cope with stressful situations. Stress can have negative effects on your body, so finding ways to alleviate stress quickly is important for healthy holistic wellbeing.
There is also evidence to suggest that people who think positively engage in overall healthier lifestyles, such as exercising and eating better. This can have direct effects on providing balance to your well-being.
And above all of that, being grateful can just give you the confidence to take on the day! Looking at what you have and realizing how lucky you are to have everything you do can give you peace of mind to tackle the day ahead.
How To Develop an Attitude of Gratitude
Having an attitude of gratitude doesn’t take too much effort, and you might even engage in some of these practices already!
Express Your Thanks
One of the best ways to show you have gratitude is to physically express it to those around you. In our bustling, busy lives, it’s hard to take the time to tell our loved ones how much we appreciate them.
However, striving to express your gratitude takes less time and effort than you think. Call or text a friend, family member, or partner and just let them know what they mean to you. In turn, you’ll get their gratitude back, which can have a positive impact on the rest of your day.
These are called words of affirmation, and affirming your love for the people around you as often as you can is an effective way to keep the love moving around.
Not only will your day be made because you’ll be reminded of the amazing people in your life, but you’ll make the recipients of your gratitude even more excited to have you in their own.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Writing things down is the best way to keep a log of information that you’ll never forget. We write down to-do lists and schedules, so why not do the same with what we are thankful for?
Your gratitude journal doesn’t need to be long paragraphs describing what you’re grateful for, but you can do that if you like. Sometimes all you need to do is list the things that make you feel happy. Consistency is key, so try to do this as you wake up in the morning or while you unwind before you go to sleep.
This also lets you visualize everything that you have in your life, giving you physical evidence of the sheer number of positive influences that you are able to interact with every single day. It’s important to reflect on things that you are grateful for regularly to keep yourself grounded.
Journaling is also great because it is lasting, meaning you can go back and look at previous entries whenever you have some free time to self-reflect or even reminisce. It’s a constant reminder of everything you have.
Celebrate the Little Things
We’re used to only celebrating the big events in our lives, like weddings, promotions, and birthdays. But constantly waiting for the next big celebration to occur is an easy way to get burnt out and feel unmotivated.
You’re allowed to celebrate the small stuff, and you deserve to. Every new article you write, workday you complete, meal you cook, or room you clean is reason for a little pat on the back. Relish the present and appreciate the seemingly miniscule advancements that you make to better yourself every single moment.
Meditation is a powerful way to practice self-awareness. Many people think that meditation is meant to bring you to a place of nothingness with empty thoughts, but it’s actually the opposite. Through meditation you can allow the mind to wander into your consciousness to accept situations at face value and be more mindful.
Try laying in bed or sitting in a comfortable location. Close your eyes, relax your muscles, and focus on your breathing. Allow your thoughts to freely move around — don’t try to control them. But keep affirming positive thoughts in your head throughout the process. Try repeating “I am grateful for my life” silently in your head as you visualize things that might be causing you stress or anxiety.
By doing this, you can gain a new perspective on stressful situations. It can help to prove that even daunting tasks are nothing more than blips on the radar, allowing you to become less reactive and better equipped to handle upcoming challenges. Meditation can rejuvenate your mind and body, giving you a fresh outlook on your gratuity.
When we focus so much on our work, it’s impossible to take some time to look at what we can be grateful for. Studies consistently show that the workplace is one of the most common stressors for adults.
Because of that, it’s imperative to allow your mind to take a break when needed. Schedule intervals throughout the day where you can reach out to friends, write in your gratitude journal, or do a quick round of meditation. Not only can this give you positive bursts throughout the day, but it can help to prevent burnout from consistent work.
Having an attitude of gratitude means being thankful for everything in your life. While stress and anxiety are sure to get the best of us at times, expressing thanks can help keep us grounded and serve as a reminder that there are more positives than negatives all around us.
You can practice gratitude through reaching out to loved ones and telling them what they mean to you, or writing down your gratitudes in a journal so you can physically look at them whenever. You can also try meditating in order to gain new perspectives on old situations. No matter what, it is important to celebrate the small stuff, recognizing that everything you do is improving your life in some way.
Sure, there are a lot of things in the world that make us sad, and it’s okay to express your feelings. But there’s even more that can make us happy, and that’s definitely something to smile about.
Here at Smile, we know the benefits of an attitude of gratitude. The simple act of smiling can lower your blood pressure, improve your mood, and support a stronger immune system. We’re dedicated to boosting the benefits of a smile with the calming, balancing effects of CBD for an elevated mindset you’re guaranteed to love.