Tips To Having A Gratitude Attitude
Do we have it better in the United States than any other place in the world? I don’t know for sure, but stumbling upon a project the other day, that I completed over six years ago, has certainly given me reason to suspect it may be true.
I was in the medical file on my computer, when I saw the title (Gratitude Attitude) of a document created in June 2015. Not recalling exactly what it was, I curiously opened it up to find a list of things I was grateful for that I recorded during a five-day period.
I don’t recall exactly how the project came into my life, but as I was going through medical treatment for depression at the time, it could have been something suggested by a health professional. Regardless of how I happened to get involved with this strategy, it seems like it could be used, with positive results, by anyone at any time.
And I’ve not come to this conclusion entirely on my own. A search of ‘gratitude attitude’ on the internet, seems to wholeheartedly agree with me. So, with that said, let me share some of my 50 Gratitude Attitudes with you. Information in parenthesis are my thoughts today about what I wrote back then.
Heads Up / Spoiler Alert
Don’t skip through these as they might give you some food for thought that will help you with the ‘assignments’ near end of this article.
- Crab & Shrimp Enchiladas at Chevy’s (that was my favorite dine out meal, while we were living in the San Francisco Bay area, and today it’s a crab and shrimp sandwich at the Corner Café in our home town of Creston, WA)
- An ability to think of a joke involving five tri-tips and a jet airliner. (Don’t recall what either of those jokes were today but I’ve posted over 50 others to my website – Walks Into a Bar – and have over a couple of hundred in he works)
- Fresh basil you can buy at the store (and it’s all year round in most places and a lot more than just basil)
- BART at age 65 (my commute cost was cut in half in April) [The Bay Area Rapid Transit system saved me a whole lot of money and time plus I could write jokes while traveling to work]
- Romance Movies – I cry during the introduction (and fairly often, off and on throughout the movie)
- Mankind’s creativity – it’s varied and never ending (People are being healed of things that just a few years ago, would have been the end of them)
- Visiting Solimar Beach when I was growing up…thanks Uncle Nick and Aunt Dorothy (My mom’s sister and her husband were so special and even though they’ve passed, their kids have tons of memories, and so do I)
- All my sister’s kids are alive and well – love you all (my nephew has been struggling with cancer for over two years but we’re still hoping for a good outcome. P.S. We were traveling to California for a vacation when I added the note about my nephew’s battle with cancer. Later that day, after arriving at our destination, we received word from our niece, the second oldest of my sister’s four kids, that he had passed away. Though the pain is very real, there’s still lots to be grateful for so I guess I’m still blessed with a Gratitude Attitude)
- Holding Ellen’s soft hand whenever I want (That’s my wife, now of 52 years…a love story that might be a later article for Spokane FāVS.)
- Able to worship as we want in freedom (there are countries where worshipping the wrong ‘God’ can get you killed)
- Being able to drink Iced Tea like ‘normal’ people (for years I had a swallowing problem that prevented me from drinking anything cold, but a surgical procedure nearly eliminated the issue)
- Being a little different than most people (OK…a lot different) [Maybe that explains my fun with funnies]
- Mexi-nese Food (left overs from Chevy’s and Panda Express on the same plate) [Don’t remember this but it sounds good enough that I may have to try it again]
- The Bible — I can’t imagine what my life would be like without God’s Word
- Changing out the bedroom to our Summer look (resort life on a budget) [We probably have 40-50 Banker Boxes in the garage with different seasonal decorations and my wife does a magnificent job of creating great looks all year long]
- Realizing a leaf on the floor was really a small frog (about 5 minutes ago) [Don’t actually remember this but I can imagine the surprise and joy when it happened]
- June Birthdays and Anniversaries (You Go R and C)
- The joy of fatherhood (I are one you know)
The nice thing about recognizing things to be grateful for, that I learned from creating my list and reading it again almost seven years later, is the happiness that can rise within our heart even when there’s reasons for sadness and grief. Check out Item No. 4 on Day 2 to see what I mean.
- Share something you’re grateful for in a comment to this article. While it’s important to keep reminding ourselves of the joys we remember, someone else could be touched by your sharing in a way that changes their life in unimaginable ways. Hope that encourages you to share away.
- Here’s how you can follow my lead and create your own ‘Gratitude Attitude’ list. Over any number of consecutive days (I chose five), set aside some time to think of things you’re grateful for and record them. Set a goal for the number of memories each day (mine was 10) and work toward that end. After you’ve completed your recollections, keep the list handy (unlike how I filed it away and forgot about it) so that you can have the remembrances you captured continue to be a source of good feelings.
- If my second idea doesn’t grab you or if you want to expand your efforts to include my plan plus other methods, check out the search I did for ‘gratitude attitude’ and select one or more ideas you find there to incorporate into your life.
Words of Closure but Not an Ending
Maintaining good mental health can be difficult and I’m not trying to be your ‘doctor’ here, but I do know that a positive attitude is better for me, and I’ll bet for you too, than the old ‘everything in my life is crap’ outlook. So whether it’s one of my three ‘assignments’ or something else, I encourage us all to be on the lookout for that which brings encouragement, hope, joy, thankfulness, peace, comfort, and anything else that may kick start and ramp up our Gratitude Attitude.
Scott McIntyre is glad his parents didn’t name him Vladimir or he’d be listed last on this page. While a long time California resident, he was the Oakland Spirituality Examiner for Examiner.com from 2011-12 and about the same time began blogging on several topics. The first, teaching Christians how to lovingly share their spiritual beliefs, emphasized skills that can benefit all forms of one-to-one interaction. He also writes on marriage, travel, downsizing, humor, and the motive behind people’s words and actions. After retiring in 2016, Scott embarked on some major ‘R & R’; Relocating and Rebranding. Following in his sister’s footsteps from the early 80’s, and later in the decade, his parent’s, Scott left the Golden State to become a Washingtonian in a small town just west of Spokane County.