Few things can affect your overall quality of life as powerfully as your attitude can. Your attitude affects your career, your relationships, your hobbies, and even your financial status. Most people discover that when they improve their attitude, everything else in their lives seems to improve also.
A daily practice of gratitude is one simple way to give yourself a painless attitude adjustment because it reduces your temptation to focus on more "negative" mind-sets. When you feel grateful it is nearly impossible to feel frustrated, sad, empty, or disconnected. A negative focus and a gratitude focus cannot co-exist! They are opposites and will repel each other.
Here are a few suggestions for using gratitude to improve your attitude:
1) Use gratitude to blot out unproductive feelings. Sometimes we just get into a "funk" without knowing why. We wake up one morning and realize that we’ve lost our zest for life and a numb disinterest has taken its place. To turn this around, find something to be grateful for. Just one tiny thing is enough! Begin focusing on this thing as often as you can during the day, but most especially when that feeling of boredom or disinterest comes over you. Let a feeling of strong gratitude flood through your body, and you will shift to a more positive attitude almost immediately.
2) Begin expressing gratitude for the people around you each day. Is your co-worker getting on your nerves? Find one thing about her you can be grateful for, and focus all of your attention on that when you start to feel annoyed. Remind yourself that everyone has both positive and negative personality traits – and you will encourage more displays of whatever you focus on! Focus on the positive traits of the people you encounter daily and watch as it transforms your interactions into mutually beneficial connections.
3) Become an optimist with the help of gratitude. Do you find yourself in the habit of always expecting the worst? When you become aware that you have shifted into a pessimistic mind-set, consciously choose to shift into grateful optimism. For example, if you catch yourself saying something like this, "My boss doesn’t appreciate anything I do so I probably won’t get a raise this year" – stop and turn that thought into something like this: "I always do my absolute best for the company, and my commitment to excellence will reap great rewards. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to shine every day."
The results you get from these exercises may not be too obvious at first, but as you keep up with them you should begin to see a big difference in your attitude. You’ll find yourself feeling lighter, happier, and automatically finding things to be grateful about all the time.