One thing I picked up from my time spent in New York that really resonated with me was the attitude of gratitude because, trust me, Americans do this well!
This attitude is very similar to a positive mental attitude which, if we aren’t fortunately born with it, can be learned by implementing and repeating positive affirmations to ourselves. However, this is more outward than internal. It’s about verbally and openly expressing gratitude for the people and things that you have in your life.
Here are some ways for you to adopt this attitude:
1. Saying Thank You
I think the reason why Americans are seemingly better at implementing an attitude of gratitude into their lives is because they are less embarrassed about giving thanks. The British tend to ‘cringe’ when acting overly grateful for something, it can look a bit fake or too soppy. I would encourage anyone who feels this way to find different methods of saying thank you. Cards, letters, flowers, days out, baking and gifts; all things which you could give to someone to tell them how much you appreciate them (tip- try avoiding their birthday or Christmas if you would usually treat them then so that they know your gift is of thanks).
Often we become tied up in our own lives and can be so focused on the things we want to change or achieve from life that we forget how good we have it. Sometimes it can take something awful to happen for you to look back and realise what you had before this moment and that you never took the time to really appreciate it. In order for us to maintain healthy lifestyles, we need to learn to relax and I believe part of relaxation is learning to appreciate your life the way it is. Count your blessings.
3. Acknowledging the moment
I have spoken about being mindful before, as well as an excellent relaxation and stress relief tool, it is great for improving your attitude of gratitude. Modern day technology leaves us clicks away from people and information demanding our attention so it doesn’t really encourage us to stop thinking and planning. As I said above we need to ensure that in our lives we make time to appreciate things how they are and a huge part of this is stopping what you’re doing and acknowledging what’s happening in the now.
Respecting other people always starts with you. First, we must learn how to truly respect ourselves, then we can transfer this respect to others. Life is fast paced and we can take things at face value, we are extremely judgemental sometimes and often don’t realise how our seemingly subtle judgements can affect the feelings of other people. Be aware of who is around you and how you treat them. We are taught at a young age to treat others the way we wish to be treated ourselves, it’s surprising how easily this is forgotten.
5. Helping Hand
The best way to really show someone that you’re grateful for them is by helping them. Be it a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear or physically getting involved with someone’s life or a project; there is always something we could do to help others to let them know that we’re there for them. Hopefully they will have an attitude of gratitude and make sure you feel appreciated for everything you have done!
The attitude of gratitude is something that I coach within The Motivation Project. The girls are presented with the idea and have freedom to discover their own ways of expressing gratitude. I hope this mentality sticks with them as I really believe that grateful people are happy people!