3 Reasons Practicing Gratitude Undoubtedly Influences Your Mindset

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Most of us know that gratitude can be a powerful vaccine against a negative mindset. There are countless studies on how being thankful has a positive effect on your body and a positive effect on your mind. The problem is we don’t practice it (I’m talking to myself here too).

Why is it so difficult to practice something that can bring us greater joy?

Reminding ourselves why gratitude is medicine for our mindset gives us plenty of motivation to make it part of our daily life.

Gratitude Shifts Your Attention

When we practice gratitude we are automatically focusing on the positive parts of our life rather than the negative. It’s not about dismissing the negative or not confronting the problems we encounter. It’s about purposefully choosing to remind ourselves of the good things in our life. This is especially helpful if you are prone to negativity (like I am!). My mindset already leans heavily towards thoughts of negativity, problems, and “gloom and doom”, that I NEED something to pivot myself back to a positive mindset.

Gratitude Provides Solutions

Think about this. If I’m constantly focusing on the problem – how it affects me, how it’s interrupting my life, how it’s ruined my day – there is a good chance I will not find a solution. By being grateful for what’s happening in my day, rather than being grumpy about everything that is going wrong, gratitude keeps my mind open to possible solutions. Honestly, there may not be a solution to the particular problem I am struggling with that day. I may be going through something that has no “end in view”. Either way, gratitude will help me see how I can thrive in spite of that problem, not be miserable because of it.

Gratitude is Viral

Have you ever been around someone who can always find something to be thankful for? I have and let me tell you I loved spending time with her. She was like the sun shining through a cloudy day. I knew, if I was having a bad day, simply chatting with her could change my whole perspective. Being thankful is a virus. It spreads rapidly simply by being around it. When I am in a terrible mood and complaining about everything, guess what? My family takes on that negative behavior or they simply don’t want to be around me. When I do my best to find something, anything, to be grateful for, it changes the whole attitude in my home.

Do you find it difficult to practice gratitude? I’m right there with you. This is not something that comes easy for me, nor is it in my nature. When practiced, I have found it changes my mindset and helps me see the wonderful life I really do have.

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3 Ways to Change a Negative Mindset

If want you learn how to change a negative mindset, I can definitely help you with that. Not because I’m great at being positive all the time, but because I used to be a “negative mindset expert” also known as constantly negative and bumming everyone out around me!

Before I even realized I was living with depression, I would look at a situation and think of the worst possible option. My nature was to be judgmental, opinionated, and extremely critical. Now I didn’t always let others know what I was thinking, but even if I didn’t speak these things out loud, they definitely showed themselves through my attitude, my short temper and my daily interactions with others.

So how does someone with a constant bad attitude, which was more like living a negative lifestyle, turn those thoughts around and make them point in the right direction? 

As a life coach, the following suggestions are my top 3 ways to change my client’s negative mindset. Before I go into any more detail though you need to hear this. It is a process. This is not something that will change overnight. You will need to be diligent and consistent. This is the beginning of a journey towards a more balanced mindset and a more peaceful YOU.

Practice Gratitude

Can I be honest and tell you this is my least favorite way to change my attitude? When I’m in a “mood” the very last thing I want to do is be grateful. I’d rather complain about everything instead.

Being thankful, before you feel like being thankful, causes a shift in your mindset. It automatically takes you from focusing inward to focusing on the truth that is all around you.

Ideas for practicing gratitude:

Write a thank you note.
Tell your family why you love them.
Write down one item you’re thankful for every day.

Do for Others

This one is fantastic. Not only are you not focusing on yourself and your own troubles, you’re purposefully doing something helpful or kind for someone else. It is impossible to be negative and be kind to someone else all at the same time.

Ideas for doing for others:

Bring your friend or co-worker their favorite coffee.
Text your spouse a love note.
Bring home your children’s favorite dessert.

Read, Read, Read!

There are so many different ways to read these days. Blogs, online articles, ebooks, and real live books are available all around us. Even for those people who say they aren’t readers, this is such a simple strategy for taking that negative mindset and turning it into a positive attitude.

Ideas for reading:

Daily devotional
The Bible – particularly the Psalms
Blogs or online articles
Books on parenting, marriage, faith, and self-discovery

These suggestions may seem almost too simple, but practiced every day, compound on each other and make a huge impact in your attitude and your life.

Do you have a need to change your negative mindset? What strategies do you use to focus on having a positive attitude?

 

 

 

Join me for my newest course, 5 Keys to Winning the Daily Battle with Depression & Anxiety. This course is designed to help you create your own unique strategy for living a life of true peace and real joy.

Course launches April 1, 2017.