We all know that gratitude is a good thing. We all crave the appreciation that comes from those who see the best in us, who express their gratitude for our contribution to their lives. Be that person for others. But more importantly, if you want this from others, start by being your own best friend. Replace your inner critic with an inner appreciative gratitude giver and what your life change. When your attitude become more naturally that of gratitude, you come to love yourself more. When we love ourselves, we tend to be better relationship partners, better boundary managers with others, more likely to eat healthy food and exercise.
How do we make gratitude our attitude, our normal way of being and seeing?
How to Make Gratitude Your Attitude
When it comes to creating habits, you’ve done this before. Remember when you were learning to drive, how awkward it felt when you had to think about everything you did as you did it? Eventually your intentions and actions became part of your subconscious or your new normal, the thing you do without having to consciously think about it.
Here are 5 actions that will make gratitude your new default attitude. Repeat these actions daily for 2 months and this will become your new normal. You might notice that these five actions spell CALM’R because you are when you live from a place of gratitude.
- Make a decision to do so. Be intentional and committed.
- Set aside time to focus on gratitude. If you don’t make the time, distractions will take you away from your higher intention.
- You get what you expect. Expect to create a dominant attitude of gratitude in your life and you will. Affirm an identity that aligns with gratitude.
- Actively appreciate others. Manifest your gratitude for others.
- Release the enemies of gratitude, the things that move you out of gratitude and into fear, shame, or anger.
Every path to change starts with a committed decision. We make a committed decision when every other way of being is no longer an option.
A study trying to discover the most effective way to treat substance abuse found that the path mattered less than three key factors; commitment, expectation that the approach will work, and social support. When it comes to creating an attitude of gratitude, find your “why” to make a highly committed decision. For many that “why” comes from one of three places;
- The realization that you just feel better when your heart is filled with gratitude. And you want to feel that more.
- The realization that gratitude opens you up to higher vibrations, opens you up to inspiration and creativity and you want more of that in your life.
- You’re tired of feeling depressed, defeated, angry, fearful, jealous, or any other emotion that takes you out of joy.
Deciding with full commitment is easier than you might think. Allow yourself to focus on gratitude right now, anything and everything for which you feel appreciation. Does that feel good? Then decide. Welcome to the inner world of gratitude as a habit.
When we’re forming a habit, we need to be intentional about the times when we focus on gratitude or express gratitude to others. The more you do it, the more your subconsious gets the message that you value this and will adjust to support you in doing this more. You know this from many other times in your life when you started to consciously do something only to have it become automatic as the subconscious got the message of your intention.
I start each day as I wake up with a focus on gratitude for 10 minutes. I don’t always wake up feeling grateful. But it doesn’t matter where you start; just allow your self to appreciate anything and everything in your life. I use meal times to center in gratitude, then send that gratitude and love out to my food. I know you think I’m weird. That’s okay. But the food tastes better and I get to practice gratitude. Try it!
If you’re thinking I just needed an “L” word to create a good acronym (CALM’R) you are partially right. L makes the acronym work. But think about “leverage” this way. If you want to know where someone is heading, just look at their beliefs and expectations. If they essentially view themself as lazy, defeated, angry, then they are. If they view themselves, at their core as love, abundance, blessed, and worthy, then they have the leverage of their expectations about identity to move them in a new direction in life.
If I were to follow you around for a few days (don’t worry, I don’t have time and it would be kind of creepy), would I see a person who views them self as worthy of love, abundance or would I see a person who struggles with self appreciation?
Your expectation creates your reality. I know your third grade teacher thought you would never amount to anything, or your mother said you were naughty when you took the cookie, or your religion might have painted you as unworthy unless you embrace their beliefs, but what if, at your core, you really were enough, okay, even a being of love and light? Why not assume the best, believe the best, and work from there?
Start to notice your beliefs about yourself, about your future, or about your relationship with your God or higher power. If your expectations are out of alignment with your commitment to gratitude, don’t beat yourself, but notice the difference. Then gently open the door to better expectations. State those new expectations as “I am” statements or affirmations.
When you feel gratitude in your heart, you’re much more likely to express it to others. Out of the heart flows the abundance of life. Let that abundance flow to others. Express gratitude, appreciate others and you will experience more gratitude in your heart.
You might leave a hand written note expressing appreciation for others. Or you might walk through your house pouring out gratitude for every room, person or thing. Let your gratitude flow out of your heart to others and you’ll experience more gratitude in your life. Try it!
Often when I’m intentionally in the space of expressing gratitude, I find other emotions bubble up. Anger, regret, and just about everything else seems to invade my inner space when my intent is gratitude. What is a good way to handle these moments?
Be grateful that these emotions bubbled up. It’s a message from your emotional body. It’s a gift. I thank my emotional body for sending the message.
Then I press into the emotion as a caring helper to understand it more. When did this first happen? As I get a picture of what might represent the root issue, I invite pure source love and light (or if you prefer, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Spirit Guide, whatever resonates with your belief system) to surround this emotion. The higher vibrations of love and light disburse and transmute the lower, more dense vibrations found in anger, regret, shame, guilt and related emotions. I see the light gently and effectively deal with the lower vibrations. If you prefer to “cast your cares on God,” then please do so. Do what resonates with your belief system.
I also forgive those who might have caused the emotion. Hating your teacher for labeling you as the dumb kid won’t fix it; bringing in more love and light and allowing the light to deal with it as you release them to your higher power will fix it. Forgive not because you’re okay with what they did but because your peace and joy are at risk. Surround their stuff with love and get rid of it. You don’t need it any more. Thank you emotional body for bringing this up because it’s gone now or is on it’s way out. You are free. And therefore can feel even more gratitude.
As you approach an attitude of gratitude with full commitment, with personal appointments to focus on gratitude, with the leverage of expectation, manifesting gratitude with others, and releasing emotions that don’t align with gratitude, you’ll find that your natural default attitude rises to new levels and you experience more of what you focus on. You are worth it.
by Quinn Price
Quinn Price is an author, speaker, consultant and teacher whose clients have included Nike, Microsoft, Deloitte, and many others. He recently released 7 Habits of Highly Resilient People: How to Make the Most of Loss, Change, and Setbacks.