Have you ever heard the term “gratitude attitude”? Does our level of gratefulness really make a difference in how we act? Some studies suggest that gratitude can influence your brain. Keeping track of the things you are grateful for creates more attention, enthusiasm, determination, and energy.
By contrast, negativity can drain your emotions and energy. You can practice gratitude to help counteract the effects of negative thoughts and feelings. Focusing on gratitude can get you out of a downward spiral of negative thoughts and feelings and bring you back to a positive outlook on life. To get started, here are five gratitude tips to get your brain on the right track:
1. Appreciate All That Is In Your Life
Don’t be picky! You don’t have to experience a major event in your life (such as a job promotion or a baby) to practice gratitude. Creating the habit of being grateful has to begin with the small stuff in life. You can be grateful for blue skies, a day at the beach, a good salad, or your cat. It doesn’t matter. What matters is recognizing that nothing is too insignificant for gratefulness.
2. Be Purposeful In Gratitude
Don’t assume you’ll naturally just start being grateful. When you first start out you will have to be grateful on purpose. Make a list of ten things you can be grateful for every day. This will help to rewire your brain and lead to happiness.
3. Record It In A Journal
Keep a gratitude journal. You can keep an ongoing list of the things you are grateful for. You can even start a list of helpful gratitude tips you find encouraging. Writing makes it impossible not to focus on your thoughts. Writing down the positive things in life will not only help you focus better on them but keep them handy to look back on later. How often you write in your journal is up to you. Some people write daily in them, others weekly or whenever they’re in the mood. Whatever system works for you, stick to it.
4. Take The Bad With The Good
Practicing gratefulness is not about only being thankful for the positive things in life. Negative experiences do happen and can create a downward spiral of negative thinking. But they don’t have to. We need to learn to be thankful for the bad experiences in life as well as the good. Negative experiences deserve gratefulness because they usually teach us something. Also, you can use the negative experiences to bring to light the positive. This will give you greater realization of all you have to be thankful for.
5. Pass It On
One of the best strategies for multiplying gratefulness is expressing it to others. Sometimes just feeling thankful yet keeping it to yourself simply isn’t enough. In an experiment by Soul Pancake, it was discovered that people who expressed their gratefulness via phone instead of letter experience a much higher boost in their gratefulness. When you express your thankfulness to someone else, you make their day better. You also have the added benefit of getting more bang for the buck on your own gratefulness.
When you have the mindset of thankfulness, you have the power to change your attitude. Being grateful transforms the way you view the world. It can improve how you think. Your perspective changes so that you notice the positive aspects of life, no matter how small they are. When you focus your mind on gratefulness, you are training the patterns in your brain to look for the positive. This will help break the circle of negative thinking your brain can get stuck in when you are focused only on the bad things that happen.
When you practice gratefulness, it benefits many different areas in your life. Some studies have shown that thankfulness can improve your relationships with others and your general happiness. It can also give you more beneficial sleep patterns, improved self-esteem, and better overall health. In order to reap the benefits of thankfulness, all you need to do is get started with the tips provided. This is a life-improving practice that won’t cost you a penny. All it will cost you is a few minutes a day. Consistency is the key. Keep at it and soon you will be able to see how positive thinking created by gratefulness will change your perspective and attitude.