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Gratitude Really Does Improve Your Attitude

Updated: Apr 9, 2022

When I was a youngster, I remember my mom telling me that I should be grateful. It typically followed an outburst, a tantrum or a pouting session because I couldn't get what I wanted, so I actually think I viewed gratitude as being some elusive, unachievable concept. When someone tells you to be grateful, vs. showing you how to practice gratitude, it kind of takes the power out of gratitude altogether.

That being said, I'm all grown up now! I now have the power to decide what gratitude looks like for me. As I type this blog, I can't help but think about how grateful I am to be able to do this. First, I am grateful I have the desire to help others find their wisdom - gratitude is a big part of that. Second, I'm grateful I have the confidence to get out there and share my experiences. I owe a debt of gratitude to, well....gratitude!

I've made gratitude part of my daily ritual for about a year and I have to say, I see the world differently.

Let me share a typical day in the life of this evolving human with you. When I wake up in the morning, I'm grateful for my warm bed, the wonderful man lying next to me and for my morning stretch (yes, I am grateful for my stretches - it wakes up the body and I'm glad I am still able to bend and move about as there may come a day when this isn't possible).

I throw on my cozy leopard print floor length robe (do you have the visual?) and head downstairs. There, I prepare my coffee, our morning smoothies and take my vitamins. I might unload the dishwasher, fold or fold some laundry. All the while, I'm grateful to be able to do all of this - in the safety and comfort of my beautiful home, surrounded by things I love.

I then take my fresh cup of coffee (oh, how I do love the smell of fresh coffee) and I head to one of my favorite meditation spots for my morning mindfulness practice. I spend 10-20 minutes doing breathing exercises, trying to find my center and connection with the universe. I love using the Calm app to jump start my meditation and may even follow it up with some gratitude journaling.

From there, it's time to get dressed for a workout, wake up that amazing man of mine and get him off to work.

This is my typical day. It begins with gratitude.

I have found that gratitude goes beyond so much more than the people and things in my life. As I get older, I am grateful to be able to bend and stretch and consume coffee. I'm grateful for the power of my mind and how I am now able to tap into it in ways I never thought possible. I'm grateful to have access to things that keep me sharp, healthy, moving, motivated. I could go on and on...

"So, what?" You might be thinking. "How has it really impacted your life overall?" I'm so glad you asked! Gratitude, meditation, etc., has made me less reactive. That may seem like small potatoes to some, but for me, impatience and frustration were at the core of my adaptive behaviors, meaning I wasn't being my true, authentic self. Why? Well, because my "WHY" was misguided. I was focusing on the wrong outcome. I felt in order to get there, I had to get things done, keep moving, forge ahead! What I didn't realize was that no one was putting this pressure on me - except me...I created this person who had bad behaviors...and I could re-create her just the same.

My story is my own. It's not that unusual, but it may help someone out there. I've made mistakes. I'm not perfect. I'm embracing my imperfections and trying to improve everyday. That's all I can do and I'm doing it!

Now, the focus is on ME and how I can be MY best self. While typing that, it almost appeared selfish, but the truth is that if I don't take care of myself, I can't take care of others in the way they need me to and THAT is WHY I do what I do everyday. That is WHY I have routine and try my best to stick with it. That is WHY I get out of bed. To experience being human for another day and see how I can help make the world around me a little bit better along the way.

- Heather

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