How to develop an attitude of gratitude

How to develop an attitude of gratitude

Developing an attitude of gratitude 

When was the last time you stopped and reflected on how you approach your life, rather than examining the contents of it?

One of the greatest choices we can exercise to navigate our lives is the power of positive thinking. Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How we answer this age-old question changes our outlook on life – and it may even affect our health.


The power of gratitude & positivity

Life is about education, work, courage, honour, empathy and resilience in the face of hardship. Real contentment comes from a feeling that your life is worthwhile, that it is dissolved into something meaningful and great. That leads to gratitude, which is an indispensable part of happiness.

Planting small seeds of gratitude everyday encourages us to have a positive attitude towards challenging situations in our life. It can help to evoke qualities such as patience and humility, helping us to see and appreciate the goodness already present in our lives that we might not be aware of.

Cicero, the great Roman statesman, once said: “Gratitude is the greatest of virtues, and the parent of all the others.”


What are the health benefits of gratitude?

The key to cultivating gratitude is to feel immense appreciation for the life that we are given, and make a conscious effort to look at what’s good, right and valuable in our lives rather than what’s missing. Being grateful doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but research reveals that the benefits are enormous:

  • Improved physical, mental and social well-being
  • Greater optimism and happiness
  • Improved feelings of connection in times of loss or crises
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Heightened energy levels
  • Strengthened heart, immune system, and decreased blood pressure
  • Improved emotional and academic intelligence
  • Expanded capacity for forgiveness
  • Decreased stress, anxiety and depression
  • Improved self-care and greater likelihood to exercise
  • Heightened spirituality – the ability to see something bigger than ourselves.



How to cultivate gratitude in your life

It takes only 5 minutes in the morning to connect with yourself, to connect with nature and run through a “gratitude scan”… you will find that it totally transforms your day!

  1. Start by listening, seeing, smelling, feeling the environment around you, and thanking the presence of these experiences individually – the sound of your rhythmic breathing, the birds chirping, the sensation of a breeze on your skin, the warm feeling of sunlight on your body, the grass under your feet, the ocean, the hills, the beautiful trees, the clouds, the sky, the beauty and fragrance of flowers.
  2. Send your love and gratitude to people you are close with, the people who are part of your daily life.
  3. Be thankful for the daily necessities and comforts you enjoy, most of which we take for granted.
  4. Scan your body and thank it for being healthy and strong. Bring attention to all the parts of your body, giving thanks to each.
  5. Finally focus on your breath, feeling grateful to be alive and breathing in this present moment. Take another 5 minutes in the evening and think about 2-3 positive experiences from the day.

The most common method for cultivating gratitude is by keeping a “gratitude journal” in which you can record experiences that you are grateful for. Examples include taking notice of something in nature, a pleasant conversation with a friend, a good cup of coffee or helping someone with a problem. Write in this journal before you go to bed – this will help to wind-down from whatever stress you may have faced during the day, and will have the power to transform your life in a positive way.


Gratitude and the spirit of giving 

One way we can express our gratitude which makes us feel even happier is by giving to causes that are important to us or to our families and is also a community need.

Here at TheraStore, we have made a conscious decision to identify such opportunities for ‘giving back’. We are a KidsCan charity partner to support Kiwi kids affected by poverty so they can have the opportunity of a better future. Also, through our association with Bihar School of Yoga (BSY), we are now offering their yoga publications for sale. All book sale proceeds are being donated back to BSY, to support their untiring efforts in improving the lives of underprivileged villagers in India.


A final word on gratitude

Gratitude is an amazing tool that can help shape our lives and lead us toward a higher state of consciousness.

We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Simply take a few moments to focus on all that you have – developing this “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.

So, what are you grateful for in your life and what causes do you identify with?

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