It is trendy these days to complain about everything that is going wrong. But if we want to live a better life, we need to shift our attitude and focus on what we appreciate.
The best way to do this is to live with gratitude.
Why having gratitude matters
Being grateful means appreciating all the good things happening in your life and around you.
It is easy to focus on the bad, and there is always an audience for negativity. Unfortunately, at the same time, we tend to get more of what we are looking for.
Put another way; the world will look a whole lot worse if that is where you put all your attention. At the same time, if you focus on all the good happenings, you will tend to notice more of them.
A gracious attitude matters because it helps us see the good in the world.
It is often true that we can’t change the world around us, but we have some say over where our attention goes. If we focus on the good, we will see more of it, but that can also go in the opposite direction.
What we look for is what we see.
The best thing we can do is put value on the good things that happen; by doing that, we appreciate them more, and thus the world looks much better.
Why you should make a habit of showing gratitude
If the way we see the world at any given moment affects how the world appears to us, then our thinking habits are more important than ever.
Put differently; it is easy to look at the good side of things when something good is happening; it’s another thing to do when things are going bad.
Make a habit of seeing things in a good light; then, there will be more good things to see.
It is hard to shift your attention when things are going bad, but if you always think with a gracious attitude, it will be easier to shift back when things go astray.
Put another way, it is easier to shift back to your usual attitude than to change it completely.
With anything, it is easier to keep our habits than shift our thinking significantly. This means that if we create good habits, the odds will favour a good outcome.
Keep a gratitude journal.
An easy way to shift your attitude when it comes to gratitude is to create a gratitude journal.
When I used to keep a journal, I’d usually use it as a therapy to deal with the shitty things that were going on in my life. And while this helped me get back to normal, it didn’t push me ahead.
However, if I’d kept track of all the good that was happening, maybe I’d have been more optimistic about my situation.
A gratitude journal helps us keep track of all the good going on.
The more we keep track of something, the more attention we have to give to those sorts of things. This means that when we keep a journal, our minds are more open to looking for the kinds of things that we write about.
While a journal isn’t going to solve all your problems, it will help you focus on the positive things that deserve appreciation.
Train your brain to look for things to be grateful for
While we can’t just change our minds about how we think about things, they will get stronger if we work out our brains.
By keeping a gratitude journal, we train our brains to think more about the stuff we can appreciate. The more we work on that, the easier it gets, and thus the more likely it appears to happen.
We may not realize how well things are going if we don’t pay attention.
It isn’t easy to notice things we aren’t used to seeing. Do you know what all the symbols mean when looking at complicated math equations? Of course, not if you don’t practice, but if you are a math student, they may make perfect sense.
We must teach ourselves to look for the good, reward ourselves for the effort, and keep track of what happens. The more attention we give and the more time we spend, the easier it will be for us to realize all the good we have been given.
Learn to appreciate a bit of everything
Some days are good, and some are bad, but that doesn’t mean everything is always good or consistently bad. Instead, life is often a blend of the two.
When we learn to appreciate everything, we aren’t necessarily saying the bad things that have happened are good. Instead, we see the lessons we can learn or the good we can take away from what has happened.
Appreciating everything means seeing the good even when things are bad.
Positivity can be toxic if misused, but if we learn to appreciate what there is to enjoy, we will get more out of what is happening in our lives.
Don’t accept the bad without reason; never give in, but know there is always a lesson to learn. And there is always something positive to be taken away.
Express gratitude whenever you have the chance
When people do good things for us, we must tell them we appreciate their efforts.
People are more likely to do the things that they get rewarded for. Put another way, if people know that we appreciate what they have done for us, they are more likely to do it again. On the other hand, if you never thank someone for the nice things they do, they are less likely to do them again in the future.
Tell the world that you appreciate what you have been given.
The more we maintain a gracious attitude, the more we want to share it with the world, and the better it will make the people around us feel.
You can take this in the practical sense, or you can take it in a more magical sense. Telling people they have done well usually means they will do more; tell the world it has done well and will give you more.
Learn to take ownership of your situation
If you can live with an attitude of gratitude, then you will learn to take responsibility for what is happening in your life and the world around you.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that when terrible shit happens to you, it is your fault. But I am saying that when bad things happen, it is possible to find some good or take something positive away from the situation.
When we have gratitude, we can take charge of our situation.
There is good and bad happening all the time, but what matters most is how we look at the situation, blame someone else, or look inwardly and see what we can do differently to change things next time.
The more we blame things on powers outside our control, the less control we feel over our situation.
It doesn’t matter how much control we have; what matters is how we feel about our power.
Commit yourself to live with gratitude
It is easy to think about gratitude as a once and a while thing, but you aren’t getting the best returns unless you are committed to it for life.
With anything in life, the more seriously you take it, the more likely you are to make a difference with it.
If you don’t take an exam seriously, you aren’t going to study, and you are more likely to fail. Even if it is easy, taking some time to put in the work is always better than no time at all.
Living with gratitude isn’t a one-time thing; we need to engage in it every day.
The more seriously we take a task, the more it will matter, and to get good at something, we need to put in the time. Committing to gratitude is more important than living with it today.
Living with a positive attitude makes it easier for you to get along with the people in your life; in time, they will look forward to working with you, which will make your life easier.
Learn to appreciate the small things
A lot is going on at any given time. We can focus on the big things, but that comes at the expense of the little things.
People used to say, “take some time to stop and smell the roses.” While you might not like the smell of roses, you can understand that they may smell good to some people. Put differently, even a pleasant smell for a short time is better than no smell.
Even the stuff that doesn’t seem to matter makes a difference.
We can’t constantly be experiencing the best of everything; there are ups and downs in anyone’s life. But if we take the time to look around, we might realize that many good things are happening in our lives right now, just below our noses.
There is so much for us to appreciate if we are only willing to take a look. Living with a gracious attitude enables us to enjoy the small stuff, just as long as we are eager to notice.
Be willing to thank your ‘ god.’
For most people these days, it is cool not to believe in god; it sounds like a made-up story with nothing to teach us. But this is not the case, as god can mean whatever you want it to, which is a good thing.
I often look at the world around me as a representation of my god, which means that when I appreciate what is happening, I ask god for more of it.
This feeling might only be symbolic, but it still helps; if we see the things that are happening as the result of a mind, then there is the possibility that our thoughts can encourage that mind to make things better for us.
Thanking whatever god you believe in will help you perceive a better world.
What you think of as god is up to you. But believing this is happening for a reason is an excellent way to feel more gratitude for your situation.
Living with gratitude enables us to live better lives by letting us see the good in everything. It also helps us encourage the world to be nicer to us because we are thankful for what we have gotten so far.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so use gratitude to get the most out of your experience.
Do you try to live with a gracious attitude? Have you found that it has made a difference in your life? What would you suggest for others trying to live with gratitude in their lives?