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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. Have you heard about a new book by positive psychologist Dr. Robert Emmons about gratitude? It is called “Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.” He researched gratitude using scientific experiments for 8 years and came up with some amazing results. For his “10 Prescriptions to be more Grateful” and more, I invite you to visit http://www.thanksbook.com.

  2. Alicia, no I have not. That sounds really interesting. I will look into it. Thanks for the info!

  3. yolanda

    There may rain or shine during your whole life, if people could be grateful for all they get, life would be much simpler.

  4. Dylan got it right when he wrote “A day above ground is a good day.”

    It’s all about generally being happy to be alive. People are so mixed up in attitudes that debilitate them that they can’t stop to say thank you once in a while.

  5. Ramvie

    I read the article, for me, it is really a nice one. Appreciation to others sincerity and humbleness lead you to good life and peace of mind because you are kind hearted. If you have a lot to be thankful about, you will be more prolonged to more advancement in life financially and emotionally.

  6. Sarah F

    For years I carried a picture of an earthquake victim who was badly disfigured and lost his entire family, a boy only 11 years old, everytime I thought my life was bad, I took out my wallet and looked at the picture to remind me there are people that have it worse than I do, then I started to appreciate everything, good or bad, my life threw my way…

  7. Hi Tina,

    I also carry a Gratitude Rock around :) Each time that I feel stresses, angry or hurt, I take that stone out and ‘summon’ back feelings of gratitude through things that I’m grateful for in my life. My mother, my lovely wife etc.

    Even normals things that we take for granted like ability to walk, type, brush our teeth can be sources of gratitude. Nick Vujicic, a man without limbs is one such man who feels my heart with gratitude each time I watch his video. My recommendation to you. I’m sure you’ll feel it too.

    Take care.

  8. yolanda, I love that quote. Thank you for sharing. I’m gonna write that one down.

  9. Thank you Ramvie and Sarah.

    Sarah, that’s a great idea, and an inspirational one.

  10. Lawrence, Thank you so much for the link. I will watch the video. I used to do gratitude sessions in the bath or in bed.. and it can take as long as 20-30 minutes.. where I give thanks to every little part of my body,everyone in my life, and all the opportunities and love I have. I feel so rich afterwards and my heart filled with love. It’s such a wonderful feeling! After I started doing this, miracles started popping up in my life.

  11. Woah Tina, it’s seems like you’re filled with much more gratitude than I am. I guess that’s where are your positivity and energy stems from. I do believe that gratitude provides us with such a positive frame of mind that “miracles starts popping up”. Some people calls that the Law of Attraction. For me, I just believe that people are naturally attracted to positive and happy people.

  12. I have been through a lot these past few months of my life, reading this post in your blog gives me a new way to face life. Now, I would be starting my Gratitude tools to face life in a positive way.

  13. Sachin2

    I really enjoyed reading your article. I am a great fan of Deepak Chopra, for the books he wrote. I really follow his writings especially from the book ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’. This book taught us how to live life peacefully. Taught us how to control your anger and always be thankful to other for what they have done for you.

    Gratitude surely helps you to achieve positive vision in your life. This makes you kind hearted, forget your sorrows, and that helps you to live life in peaceful way.

  14. I love Deepak Chopra too. Hmmm… I will pick up that book again. I used to have cue cards created for that book so that I could carry it everywhere with me. :) Thanks for reading!

  15. Tina Su, I find that having an “attitude of gratitude” early in the morning can set the mood for the whole day. Have a glorious day.

  16. Re: “attitude of gratitude” early in the morning

    Patricia, I hear ya, I feel the same. I know this, yet it’s challenging in the mornings to follow through. I need to make a commitment to myself again to habituate some of these routines that I Know works.

  17. Tina:

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful tools with the Carnival of Healing #111 edition, posted at Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul.

    Blessings,
    Hueina

  18. I love doing gratitude journals. One year, I gave gratitude journals as gifts to family and friends. Writing in a gratitude journal helps you to connect with the gifts that life brings into your area of experience.

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