The Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude has to do with appreciation. Appreciation means to add value to. Things that appreciate tend to grow, just as being grateful for something or someone raises its or their value in our estimation.  Even though, at any given time, countless more things are going right than going wrong in most of our lives, too many of us focus more on what’s going wrong and take for granted what’s going right — our health, our loved ones, our resources.

“Gratitude interventions” is the term used for cultivating the attitude of gratitude in our lives. The father of positive psychology, Martin E. P. Seligman, suggests an exercise called “Three Good Things” whereby at the end of the day you write down three good things that happened to you and why. The “why” is very important.

An app called “Gratitude Plus” allows you to (1) share gratitude with your favorite people (2) easily reflect on the good in your life (3) create groups with friends and family (4) hear from people around the world (5) track progress and understand trends (6) use streaks to build a habit (7) get creative with a variety of prompts, and (8) stay positive with daily affirmations. As to the latter, your writer has found reading daily affirmations to be an invaluable resource for maintaining a positive mindset. The great motivational speaker Zig Ziglar notably said that “People say that motivation doesn’t last.  Neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily”. Daily positive affirmations may be found by googling “daily affirmations” and choosing one of the free services that appeals to you.

An analysis of 38 gratitude studies concluded that “gratitude interventions can have positive benefits for people in terms of their well-being, happiness, life satisfaction, grateful mood, grateful disposition, and positive affect, and they can result in decreases in depressive symptoms”.

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” — Willie Nelson

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