How to have an Attitude of Gratitude

By Robin Ross

Crisis Case Manager, Valeo Behavioral Health Care


It is that time of year again when giving thanks comes to mind. During the holiday season and Thanksgiving in particular, causes people to think about all of the special people and things in our lives that we are grateful for and express gratitude for. This is a favorite time of year for many people, mainly because we are surrounded by our loved ones and reminded of all that we have to be grateful for.

If you are like me, you wish this feeling could last all year long. Just imagine yourself feeling thankful, joyful on an ongoing basis, not only just during the holiday season but every day.

So, I am pretty sure you have heard the quote, “Life is better if you develop an attitude of gratitude.” So, what exactly does that mean and how do we do it? Well let me explain.

An attitude of gratitude means making everyday a habit to express appreciation and thankfulness in all parts of your life, on a regular basis for the big things as well as the smallest little things alike. If you are constantly concentrating on what you have, you will always have more but if you concentrate on what you do not have, you will never ever have enough.

Here are a few ways to develop an attitude of gratitude:

  1. Wake up every day and tell yourself what you are grateful for.
  2. Tell someone you are with at the end of the day three things you are most grateful for.
  3. Start a gratitude journal expressing gratitude daily writing down things that you are grateful for, excited about, and proud of.
  4. Start a gratitude jar. Every time you have something significant happen during the year write it on a piece of paper and stick it in the jar. At the end of the year pick a day, sit down with your loved ones or family or even yourself and read what wonderful things happened to you during the year.
  5. Acknowledge other people and thank them for supporting/helping/inspiring you- often times people wait their whole lives to be acknowledged (and yet it happens far too infrequently!)

If the gratitude process is hard to get started, begin by asking yourself, “What could I be grateful for?” and see if the ideas start to flow. It is about developing a positivemindset habit expressing what you are grateful for. Now I am here to tell you that every day will not be perfect but if you focus on what you are truly grateful for, even the littlest things, people tend to wash away feelings of negativity and anger and replace it with having feelings of positivity instead.

Not only does having an attitude of gratitude improve mood but it also leads to better physical health as well such as decreased risk of heart disease and having reduced levels of inflammation.

So, if you will try adopting some of the above tactics to help in developing an overall positive grateful mindset and it does take a bit of work but having an attitude of gratitude is one best impactful habit for a healthy fulfilling life.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone and let’s work on being grateful all the time!

P.S. My daughter wanted to add something. She says, “Everyone needs to be nice to each other and just be happy.”


Valeo Behavioral Health Care   



Crisis Services400 SW Oakley

Topeka, KS  66606

24 Hour Crisis Line           



National Suicide Prevention Life Line



Shawnee County Suicide Prevention Coalition


Family Service and Guidance Center  (18 and under)

325 SW Frazier            

Topeka, KS  6660624 Hour Crisis Number



Healing after Loss to Suicide Group  (HeALS)

Sandy Reams – Group Facilitator



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