I’m not talking about just saying thank you to someone (though that never hurts). I’m talking about your gratitude attitude.
I first became fascinated with Gratitude Attitude a long time ago. I was taking a class and the instructor announced that she was going to do a series on gratitude.
At the time I was in a difficult place in my life. I was teaching in a Catholic school making next to no money and had just moved into my first apartment – much to my old-school Italian parents’ chagrin. I could barely pay my rent, let alone buy food or pay my bills. My mother was waiting for me to fail so I’d have to beg her to move back home and my father wasn’t talking to me (he believed good Italian girls didn’t move out of their parents home until they married). I thought, “I’m struggling like crazy…what could I possibly be grateful for?”
But I continued with the class and did what Jeanne said…and my life changed. And my fascination with gratitude began as I started seeing gratitude as a “super power.”
Years later when I designed my Optimal Living and Victorious Woman (Savvy Sizzle) workshops, I have added one class that is a “magic” list – things that help my class members successfully realize their goals. Gratitude Attitude is one of them.
Later this month I’m presenting a luncheon keynote on Gratitude Attitude. I list the benefits of Gratitude Attitude, which I “anchor” with PEEPS. I know…PEEPS at Thanksgiving instead of Easter seems odd, but here’s how they fit into your Gratitude Attitude:
P – Pressure: Specifically, blood pressure. When I first started practicing Gratitude Attitude, there weren’t any studies about the effect of gratitude on health. All the “proof” was anecdotal. But now there are A LOT of studies. Here are just few of the health benefits of Gratitude Attitude:
- Lower blood pressure – 12% lower! That’s a lot – that could mean the difference between medication and no medication!
- 10% fewer stress-related illnesses
- Reduces toxic emotions – like envy, resentment and regret
- And, after a few weeks of practicing Gratitude Attitude, a 30% reduction in symptoms of depression
E – EXPANSION. When I took that first course, thirty-some years ago, I didn’t know how it would work. But I wanted to believe it would…and it did. Over the next few years, I left teaching and I got another job, and then I changed jobs again. With each change, I made more money. I moved from my tiny apartment to a bigger one in a corner home in a nicer neighborhood across the street from a small park. I bought a new car, nicer clothes and new furniture. Then I bought my first house – something that wasn’t so common for single women in the 1980’s.
n the process of all that, I changed. I was happier, not so angry all the time and I stopped feeling like a victim. most importantly, I felt like my life had possibilities that, until them, I never imagined I had.
Journalist and author Janice Kaplan found the same thing. A few years ago she started a one-year study that led her to write The Gratitude Diaries. She said gratitude transformed her ordinary year into glorious. She calls gratitude “Vitamin G.”
E – Empowerment. Gratitude attitude tames the “not good enoughs” – you know, I’m not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough…all the “I’m not good enoughs” that sabotage your dreams and goals.
Maybe there’s something you’ve been holding yourself back from doing because you’ve been telling yourself you don’t have enough skill, enough smarts, aren’t ballsy enough – pick any one of your “not enough” self-sabotages. Gratitude Attitude helps clear that crap from your head and reminds you that you ARE enough.
For me, from the beginning of using Gratitude Attitude, I started seeing that I had the power to make my life better. It wasn’t all about what was going on “outside” with other people having all the power and control. It was something that gave me power and control because it was happening inside of me.
No one can control what goes on in the (literally) awesome space between your ears. That space is all yours. You can give yourself permission to do things you might not have thought you could do. It inspires and energizes you to go forward – and that’s empowering!
P – Purpose. When your Gratitude Attitude clears out the cobwebs, you see your past, present and future more clearly and move with a greater sense of purpose in your life.
S – Satisfaction. You can do your own study for this one! Think about it: Gratitude Attitude improves your health, expands your thinking and your life, empowers you, and keeps you living with and purpose. With all those good things, how can you NOT have greater satisfaction???
Want some of those PEEPS in your life, stay tuned for some “how-to’s” in my next post.
In the meantime, you can get a head start by looking for the good that’s right where you are.
And THANKS for reading this post!