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5 Ways to Practice the Gratitude Attitude

The TalkShop blog not only aims to offer situational stories related to our courses, but insightful articles that encourage a healthier state of mind.

 

Project Management by TalkShop

Project Management by TalkShop

As children, we are dreamers and idealists. Even the little joys in life make the world complete: Ice cream on a Saturday afternoon. The free toy that comes with a meal.The excitement of jumping over cracks in the sidewalk.As a matter of fact, we do stop to smell the roses.

As adults, we expect more. We have already “been there, done that,”and now we want bigger treats, more substantial rewards, and adventures that take us to different parts of the world. Is there anything wrong with that? No, not really. What is wrong is that we become so intent on acquiring the big things we want that we lose sight of what we already have.

A communications school for adults, TalkShop teaches courses about self-improvement, and the various ways it applies in the work environment and in personal life. What we have observed in the 15 years we have been operating is that participants who practice an attitude of gratitude are the ones who learn more successfully and work harder to get what they want.

When we are grateful, we recognize opportunities that come our way. When we are ungrateful, we foster a foundation of pessimism, which prevents us from enjoying life and moving forward.

In order to live with a grateful attitude, we should make it a way of life, not a temporary feeling we can switch on and off.

Gratitude can be practiced so that it becomes habitual; an intrinsic part of who we are. It takes patience and dedication to train one’s self to develop this habit, but here are some ways to help us get started:

1. Identify what makes us great.
This is a personal exercise that gets us to zone in on our positive traits. No need to be modest about what we write down. Think of what our loved ones say when they describe us. We can start with one-word descriptions such as “smart”or “funny”, but we should try to be more descriptive as we go along: “I like to surprise my parents with gifts, even when there is no special occasion,”or “I was able to teach myself how to play the guitar.”

Notice how we avoid examples on physical appearances. This is because we want to delve deeper into our character, not merely our looks. Of course, there are ways to add depth to physical traits as well: “My friends say my smile is contagious.”

This list is not to be completed in one sitting. Whether we dedicate a notebook to it or save a file on our computer, it should be something we can easily and constantly add onto.

2. Make a list of the 10 best things that have happened so far.
We should think of this as a retrospective on life. What would our Top 10 experiences be? When coming up with this list, we should consider life moments that truly made an impact on who we are today—the positive life moments, that is.

More than listing events down like “Got married,”or “had first baby,”we should include significant details of the stories behind them. These are stories we can revisit every once in a while to remember the special moments we will forever be grateful for.

3. Remember the people who make us happy.
We meet so many people these days that we sometimes lose track of instances they were there for us at a time we needed them most. We should always be grateful to them for the contributions they made in our lives. The best way to do this would be by writing their names down alongside what they did: “Ben – drove me home from school every day when my leg was broken.”

4. Keep a gratitude journal for daily updates.
At the end of each day, we should make it a habit to list the things we can be grateful for in the past 24 hours. This helps us recall the good things over any challenges we may have faced, so that we can end the day feeling great rather than stressed or worried.

5. Pause before sharing a story.
Now for an exercise in real-time gratitude. When we find ourselves in a conversation or situation that triggers the negative button within, we should take pause before reacting with anger or frustration. We had a long day at work. There were problems that arose, but there were also nice moments we enjoyed. At dinner, our significant other asks how our day went. What story do we share? Is our first instinct to talk about the problems we encountered? We need to take a moment before we speak, and share the good stories. Besides, who wants to hear about problems over a nice meal?

These are just a few examples of exercises that get us to imbibe the gratitude attitude. As we mentioned earlier, the shift in mindset may not happen instantaneously, so it is important to make a habit out of practicing gratitude until it becomes the natural, dominant side of our being.

To learn more about TalkShop’spersonal effectiveness workshops, visit http://talkshop.ph/trainings/corporate-programs. You may also contact us at +63 2 894 5588 or info@talkshop.ph. We can customize programs according to your personal requirements or company’s specific needs.

Posted by TalkShop
Sheila Viesca, TalkShop CEO and Director of Communication finished her bachelor degree in Literature, masters in Entrepreneurship, and doctorate in Applied Cosmic Anthropology. She designed the Philippines' Language Competency Benchmark for the Department of Education and pioneered Integrated Language Teaching (ILT) in workshop designs and corporate communication training. You can follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIN, and Google+

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