A beautiful marketing piece I received recently stated this: “Giving is nice, but getting is better.” It’s easy to get into that mindset of entitlement, especially this time of year. Especially because we live in a “me” society. Resisting that mentality and choosing gratitude can have a big impact on our happiness and well-being. When we think of being grateful, we often think of the things that are going well in our lives, all the good stuff. That’s a great place to start. Consider what you’ve been blessed with today, just since you woke up; a loving God who created you, people who love you, a comfortable bed, shelter, clean water, electricity, health and the list goes on.
Adopting this mindset also means that we give thanks in all circumstances, not just when things are going well. This is Biblical; Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in all circumstances.” He didn’t tell us to give thanks only when things go our way, or according to our plan, or just when we’re having a good day. Yet, isn’t that what we are tempted to do?
An attitude of gratitude will serve you well physically and emotionally, too. Numerous studies done on gratitude have revealed that gratitude can:
- help manage stress
- boost immunity
- directly impact our happiness
- lessen the severity of anxiety and depression
- help you sleep better
Most people think in direct opposition to the mindsets that lead to happiness and success. First, there’s the entitlement mentality. We see this at work when an inexperienced employee expects to be promoted overnight. We see this at home with our kids, who often think they are entitled to the latest and greatest of everything. And we see this in ourselves, when we give in to selfishness.
Then there is the “I’ll be happy when …” mentality. When we have this mindset, we can never be happy, peaceful, or content. It’s always elusive. What if we lived fully in the present and learned how to be happy now? Gratitude can help us get to a better state.
Here are 3 practical ways to incorporate gratitude into your day:
- Start a gratitude journal. Writing down what you are grateful for on a regular basis will bring you peace and help you focus on the good.
- Physical reminders: Surround yourself with note cards that say “Attitude of Gratitude.” Wear a band on your wrist, place an object in your pocket, whatever it takes to serve as a reminder to be grateful.
- Put a recurring reminder on your phone or computer. For a few years, while I was learning to be more grateful, I had a calendar prompt pop up every day to remind me to focus on gratitude. Now there are numerous free apps that will remind you to be grateful throughout the day.
Embracing this mindset takes intention and action; do something to make this mindset a habit. Give thanks and choose happiness.
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
always giving thanks to God the Father
for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The 7 Mindsets are a culmination of a research project asking the question, what do the happiest, most successful people have in common? Learn more about the 7 Mindsets at www.TeresaInspires.com