Create a Gratitude Attitude

Create a Gratitude Attitude

The Power of Gratitude

toddler showing gratitude attitudeRobert Emmons is a Professor pf Psychology at UC Davis. He studies the effects of creating a gratitude attitude has on individuals. He has found that gratitude does three things. Gratitude heals, energizes, and changes lives. In his research they had individuals keep a gratitude journal for three weeks. In his research his test subjects have consistently reported physical, psychological, and social benefits. These benefits include a stronger immune system, more energy, and a more positive outlook. He goes on to outline a list of 12 specific benefits that individuals with a gratitude attitude have. Today we are going to look at what being grateful does, activities we can do to start creating a gratitude attitude and finally how we can create a life that is centered around gratitude.

What Does Gratitude Do?

Gratitude does three main things. First it creates an affirmation of the good things in our life. Second it makes us thankful for and to something that is outside of ourselves. This may be other people or to God or a higher power depending on your spiritual belief. Lastly it shifts our focus from what we are lacking in our life to looking at what we currently have as a blessing.

Start to Create Gratitude in Your Life.

The easiest way to start creating an awareness of gratitude in your life is to look at the most basic things you have and realize not everyone has them. The other day a friend and I were talking about some of the things we were grateful for and I left wondering what is something that almost everyone has or can do but easily overlooks as a gift. I had a passing thought as I left that meeting about the ability to eat. How often do you really look at the ability you have to physically eat food and for your body to process it as a blessing? Later on that night I came across a story about a boy who could not eat. He is a 3 year old boy who has a mystery illness that is causes his body to refuse everything except one particular kind of baby formula. Now his body is starting to refuse this too. So often we overlook the simplest blessings because we are so absorbed in the things we are lacking. The first step is to start to become aware of these most basic blessings.

create a gratitude journalActivities to Create a Gratitude Attitude

  • Start a Gratitude Journal (write down things you are grateful for and why)
  • Write Thank You notes
  • Spend time in prayer or meditation
  • Wear a Gratitude Charm Bracelet (to remind you of things you are grateful for)
  • Do something to give back. (find charities and organizations that are related to what you are thankful for and get involved)

Create a Gratitude Attitude For Your Life

These activities are all meant to be things to help you in the short term but they are a start. If you want to be a person who adopts a gratitude attitude for life it is important that you get started with these activities. As you progress on or start to feel that your gratitude is dropping pick up some of these activities again. I find that creating some sort of weekly commitment is always a great way to create change in a person no matter what it is you are looking to do. This is why having weekly coaching sessions, or sessions with a personal trainer etc are so effective. If you want to keep your gratitude attitude progressing you may want to look for ways to create a weekly commitment around this. Many people find Church or prayer groups help them in this way. You could easily create a family hour of gratitude once a week or even a gratitude hour with your co-workers or online.

Feedback on Creating a Gratitude Attitude

Gratitude has the power to change your life and the lives of others but just like anything else in life it is something we need to create time for and to purposely move towards. I am looking forward to hearing your comments and suggestions on how we can all bring more gratitude into our lives.

shared with permission from Doug Kasper original article: