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Attitude of Gratitude: 5 Tools for Appreciation

Photo by Tranuf
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

When life gets hectic and you begin to feel overwhelmed, take a moment to focus on the people and things you are grateful for in life. When you are grateful, other things will fall by the wayside. For example, you probably won’t be able to feel jealous and grateful at the same time. You might even be thankful for someone else’s success or their contribution to you. Being thankful gives you perspective on you situation and brings you to the present moment.

One of the most impressive reasons for being grateful is the positive impact on the way you think and feel. Research shows that grateful people have, “higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy . . .”

You will find a positive emotional state by simply focusing on the parts of your life that you are most thankful for. Appreciate the abundance in your life. Being grateful is an energizing way to start your day and a relaxing way to end it. Tony Robbins suggests to list out all the things you are grateful for as you warm up for your morning exercise. Deepak Chopra has incorporated gratitude exercises into his guided meditations. Swamiji has added similar techniques in his guided meditation; Nithya Dhyann.

Feeling gratitude is an important practice that I have brought into my daily routine. I notice that it has improved my emotional wellbeing and general happiness.

Sometimes a quick visual reminder is all you need to bring you back to a place of thankfulness and abundance.

1. Gratitude Journal: Each evening you can list the things for which you are grateful. Start with just five things. You will soon see that your list is much longer than you expected. Personally, I have found that the best part of a Gratitude Journal is the record it creates; pages and pages of my personal history of abundance.

2. Gratitude Rock: Find a rock that feels good in your hand. Name it your ‘gratitude rock’, carry it with you along with your keys and wallet. The idea is to remember and say “Thank You” for something in your life, each time you touch or see the rock. For example, when you empty your pocket at night; when you pack up your things in the morning; when you reach for your keys. An actual rock is not necessary; you can use anything small as a figurative representation. My mother uses a cute little keychain as her gratitude rock.

3. Gratitude Beads: Collect a short string of unique beads, and give significance to each one. As you run your fingers through them, with each bead, think of one thing you are grateful for. If you use beads in this way, gratitude can be a bridge to meditation and peace. At bedtime, instead of thinking peaceful thoughts and resting, my mind may be overtaken with all the things I have left to do. Running my fingers over gratitude beads allow me to focus on my many wonders and blessings as I go to sleep.

4. Wheel of Gratitude: Use this tool to make a mental map of who and what you are grateful for in your life. Simon Perkins’ blog offers this technique as part of his mission to, “help everyday individuals cut through our self-imposed limitations and start enjoying life.” This is a compact display of all the richness in your life (and it fits neatly inside the cover of your Gratitude Journal.)

5. Gratitude Diet: My friend Dave developed a product called the gratitude diet with a daily 10 minute video for you to watch and relax into. The videos are designed to put you in a state of abundance and gratitude.

Gratitude can make a real difference in your ability to feel positive, both emotionally and physically. Try one or two of these tools for two weeks and feel the benefits yourself. You will be amazed at what you discover.

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About the author

Tina Su is a mom, a wife, a lover of Apple products and a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for our motivational community: Think Simple Now. She is obsessed with encouraging and empowering people to lead conscious and happy lives. Subscribe to new inspiring stories each week. You can also subscribe to Tina on Facebook.

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49 thoughts on Attitude of Gratitude: 5 Tools for Appreciation

  1. These are some fantastic tools for showing others how much we appreciate them. They’re also a nice way to remind ourselves of the things to be grateful for.

  2. jd

    Hey Tina –

    Nice list!

    I use a set of questions to cap my day:
    – What did I learn?
    – What did I improve?
    – What did I enjoy?
    – What kind act did I do?

  3. I always feel my state transform as I stop and think about what I’m grateful for. I believe this is an especially effective way to start each day.

  4. Whoa! What a coincidence me landing on this. Just recently I started a Gratitude Journal of my own hehe (I know I haven’t updated for a few days though) – http://devesh.net/gratitudejournal

  5. One of the tricks I use when I’m feeling overwhelmed and finding it rather hard to turn my thoughts around, is to think of my grandparents and the life they lived.
    I think about how they scrimped to eek out a basic existence, how money was always tight and one kg of mince meat (hamburger) had to feed a family of five for 4 nights.
    I think about my own pantry, how full it always is.
    I think about how they themselves felt lucky to have even one car, and we one each.

    By this stage I’ve started to turn my thoughts around, and find it much easier to start appreciating the things I often take for granted. That starts me on a gratitude roll, and away I go…

  6. Here’s a website focused on the experience of gratitude, while you donate $5 to Nourish America, which gives children here in the United States food and nourishment. Gratitude is vital to access the highest vibrations of appreciation and open the gateways to more of what’s possible for us. Check it out http://www.theiamgratefulproject.org – we are one, coming together to help each other in love and gratitude.

  7. These are great suggestions on keeping gratitude on your mind always. We are nearing the “season” when everyone remembers to be thankful for all and everyone in our life. It’s not just a season. We should remember to appreciate 365 days a year, not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thank you for sharing your steps to incoroporating it into my daily life.

  8. Christie

    When you have a God who knows what you are about to ask and knows all your thoughts, the best form of asking for your desires, is to say “thank you” Lord. For you know then you are going to have it. The other fact that you are alive or that you were born into this earth is not of your asking. It’s a gift given to you without asking. The bible says, that we were created before the foundation of the earth and that He knit us in the palms of His hand. The hairs on our body are numbered. Which means how much care has gone into our creation. He also created us in His image, which made even the angels jealous. What more gaurantee do we need. Thank you Lord for today and every day of our life that is left on this planet. Thank you Lord for all the gifts that you give us in this journey to keep us happy. That could be friends, parents, the beautiful earth we live in and all the experiences that we come across. For a life time of thanks won’t be enough. So, let us ever remain grateful for our journey here, until we go back to where we came from, our master.

  9. I appreciate your good work.thanks for sharing this helpful post.

  10. Kaganzy Albert(Uganda)

    This artIcle has really restored all d importance of gratitude that had fled my body.I am a new man!

  11. Vinayak K Pattar

    Thak you for nice article. I can share something with you.

    Everything is based on attraction. Positive, negative and neutral. So many thought will come to our mind in the form so many different directions that’s all depend on our emotional guidance of our system it will help to understand what we are thinking and what we are going to do, that is our own emotions, we have two mind, one is good and one is bad, it’s all based on attraction it proceeds to negative emotions and positive emotions it will make sense and literally it will formulating our future experience taking past as reference. Is that law of attraction?

    Vinayak K Pattar
    M.Sc PHYSICS
    Bangalore.

  12. Laura

    I have many nervous thoughts before bed. I can not stop thinking sometimes. I want to try some gratitude beads.
    I am very busy which sometimes leads to forgetting the good things in my life
    Sometimes particular societies practice consumerism. This makes many prone to in gratitude.
    I would like to master gratitude in its many forms because I am sure it could out wit most if not all negative jibber ish my mind puts out.

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