Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays with its focus on family and gratitude, and it’s the perfect opportunity to feel grateful for everything that I have, despite whatever bumps in the road tried to take me off course throughout the year. But Thanksgiving can also be a difficult time for people for a variety of reasons so I wanted to share how developing a gratitude mindset can help you take a different approach to not only Thanksgiving but each new day.
So what is a gratitude mindset?
Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful and exhibiting a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Simply put, a gratitude mindset is the ability to focus on the positive things in life rather than the negative - you know the glass is half full kind of thinking. You see opportunities instead of obstacles. When you can focus on gratitude, the number of things you appreciate continue to grow.
Why should you strive for a gratitude mindset?
Engaging in a gratitude practice can bring many benefits to you personally and professionally. It can change your perspective and allow you to see things in a more positive light. People with a gratitude mindset are usually happier, more creative and focused on growth. Happier people tend to attract greater opportunities.
How can I develop this mindset?
I know that life can be busy, frustrating and challenging - don’t we all wish we had more hours in the day? But having a gratitude mindset can help you get through those difficult days a little more easily.
Here are my four favorite ways to practice gratitude (which in turn will help you develop a gratitude mindset).
Start your day with gratitude.
Starting the day with positivity sets the stage for the rest of the day. You can read some gratitude quotes (like some of my favorites listed below). You could write down three things you’re grateful for that morning.
If you’re looking for something more structured, there are many different types of gratitude journals that you can purchase. You can even re-read what you wrote previously after a more difficult day. Writing down my thoughts helps me reframe my thinking and reminds me to be grateful.
Show gratitude for the people that are most important to you.
Having a gratitude mindset increases your appreciation for the people in your life. When you stop and pay attention to how much a person means to you, you can build stronger relationships. Saying thank you can be overused though so be sure if you say this often, you give specific reasons why you’re thanking a person. Showing appreciation can also be as simple as really listening and focusing on that person when you’re together.
Focus on the present moment.
Appreciation for what you have in your life right now is the foundation of a gratitude mindset. So take a break from multi-tasking and be fully present in the moment. This helps you think about the moment you are in and the people you are with rather than filling your mind with the “would have”, “could have” and “should have” thinking. Being international and in the moment can help you feel more confident about making decisions and focusing on your goals.
Document your progress.
A gratitude mindset can allow you to appreciate the progress you make each day. Every step forward is movement in the right direction - it doesn’t matter how far you are from your goal. Progress, even the small steps, are cause for appreciation and gratitude, and when you focus on gratitude, you are always moving forward learning and growing.
November is a time of year when many people think about what they’re grateful for, but let’s try and practice gratitude all year long and work on developing a gratitude mindset. I think you will see that this mindset can help you achieve your goals both personally and professionally, and you’ll be smiling when you do it!
Here are a few of my favorite gratitude quotes.
“I am happy because I’m grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.” - Will Arnett
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” - John F. Kennedy
“I think gratitude is a big thing. It puts you in a place where you’re humble.” - Andra Day
“When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.” - Kristin Armstrong
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” - Robert Brault
Thanksgiving Related Reading
Request your free copy of the e-book. Your information will not be shared.