8 Simple Ways to Build an Attitude of Gratitude

| WRITTEN BY: Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN
gratitude journal with ferns

Who can’t use a little more positivity in their life? Practicing an attitude of gratitude every day is an easy way to make each day a little more optimistic.

There are eight key things you can start doing today to strengthen your attitude of gratitude. You may have heard the term before, but what does it actually mean? 

What does an attitude of gratitude mean?

Practicing an attitude of gratitude means putting positive thoughts, actions, and outlooks to all aspects of your daily life, and truly being more grateful for what you have. This doesn’t mean you won’t have tough days, stressful moments, or hard times. Having a more overall positive outlook means that these hard times have a positive side too, and can help you bounce back from those negative feelings faster.

8 Ways to Build an Attitude of Gratitude

Here is a gratitude list of 8 truly simple ways you can add more gratitude to each day.

  1. Make a gratitude jar
  2. Find a mantra
  3. Write a daily gratitude list
  4. Post positive reminders
  5. Think positively
  6. Filter your lens
  7. Pay it forward
  8. Smile more

1. Make a Gratitude Jar

With each day comes another opportunity to be grateful for what you have. One way you can make it a habit is to start a gratitude jar. Each day, write down one thing you are grateful for on a scrap of paper and add it to a clear glass jar. Using a jar you can see through helps you to see your gratitude grow each day. At the end of the year, you’ll have 365 reasons to be grateful! 

Having a hard day? Pull from your gratitude jar to remind you of some of the positive things in your life. It can be as simple as that to turn your mood around.

2. Find a Mantra

good vibes only written on sand for attitude of gratitude

Another way to channel the positive vibes is to find a mantra that resonates with you. This can be something simple as “Just breathe” or something a little more specific like, “I am doing my best. I can do this. I am more than capable.” Whatever it is, find a mantra you can go to when times get tough. Repeat this in your head or even out loud to get your thoughts back on track to positive thinking. 

You can even have a few mantras you go to depending on the situation. Keep them in your phone or write them down, so you’ll have them ready to go in the moment.

3. Write a Daily Gratitude List

Another way you can add gratitude to your daily routine is with a gratitude list. Instead of adding them to a jar, dedicate a notebook to writing down at least one thing you are grateful for each day. Doing this first thing in the morning can help set the mood for the day, and start things off on a positive note. 

Use this format to make your gratitude more impactful. “I am grateful for _________ because _________.” Read it back to yourself either out loud or in your head to truly feel gratitude for each and every moment. This is also one of many ways to become more mindful and appreciative of what you have.

4. Post Positive Reminders

positive mantras for an attitude of gratitude

Along the same lines as mantras, posting positive quotes or sayings around your home, office, or car can serve as a simple reminder to adopt an attitude of gratitude. Post something in a place you often visit that elicits positive feelings, brings a smile to your face, or puts you in a better mood. This could include your bathroom mirror, on your car dashboard, on the corner of your computer screen, or as your phone background. 

This simple act can serve as a powerful tool in keeping your attitude more positive. You may not even realize you are in a negative mood until you notice your positive note. You can also change them up every few weeks or months to keep things fresh and find more positive thoughts to add to your day.

5. Think Positively 

Do you ever have those days when nothing seems to go right? It’s all too easy to get caught up in the negative thoughts and feelings when it seems like you just can’t catch a break. Let these moments serve as a reminder to think more positively. Instead of feeding into the negative emotions, recognize the situation, acknowledge what happened, and see the positive in the moment. 

For example, let’s say your car won’t start in the morning. Instead of thinking, “This is awful! I’m going to be late for work, my boss will be mad, and I’m not going to be able to get anything done!” Try thinking, “I am annoyed my car won’t start this morning, but at least I have a car, and a job to go to.” Simply reframing your thoughts in this way can instantly add more gratitude to your life.

6. Filter Your Lens

girl on phone on social appWhen was the last time you filtered through your social media accounts? Are you following someone who constantly posts negative things? Are there certain types of posts that make you feel worse, angry, or sad? It’s time to go through your account and filter out these types of things that are filling your life and mind with more negative thoughts and feelings.

Find what things make you happier or better about yourself and fill your feeds with more of them. Maybe that’s more animal videos, funny videos, or posts from friends and family members. Take the time to evaluate how you feel when you see different types of posts and take the time to replace the ones that make you feel worse with those that bring more positive vibes to your life. 

Here are a few other core strategies to filter your lens and boost your happiness

7. Pay it Forward

Doing a good deed, no matter how big or small, not only feels good but also helps pay gratitude forward. Try to add more random acts of kindness to your life, and help spread the positivity. This can be as simple as letting someone go ahead of you in line, buying a stranger a coffee, or sending a loved one a letter in the mail. Paying the positivity forward benefits everyone involved!

8. Smile More

three women smiling together showing gratitudeLast but certainly not least is to smile more! How do you do that? Make it a habit to do something each and every day that makes you smile. Maybe that’s watching a funny show or movie, listening to your favorite song, chatting with a friend, or sitting down to a hot cup of tea. Whatever it is, make it one of your priorities to add this act to your daily life. 

Life can be tough sometimes, but it should be fun, enjoyable, and positive more often than not. Make your happiness a priority, and watch how much gratitude and positivity flourishes. If you often find yourself feeling stressed out, here are simple ways to overcome stress in 5 minutes or less and 10 proven ways to better handle stress.

I also recommend exploring even more ways to continue to improve your attitude of gratitude with Thrive Global’s gratitude articles.

Which of these practices would you adopt first? Please share, I’d love to hear!

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