Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be able to maintain a positive attitude regardless of what’s happening to them? They appreciate the good times, but they also focus on the positive in the face of negative events. They tend to see the good in difficult people, the opportunity in a challenging situation, and appreciate what they have, even in the face of loss. Additionally, they have good self-esteem because they feel positive about themselves.
Many of us would like to increase our ability to maintain a positive attitude. Fortunately, a positive attitude can be cultivated, with a little practice and a lot of gratitude. While we are born with specific tendencies, the brain is a muscle, and you can exercise your mind’s natural ability to be optimistic if you work at it.
While several factors contribute to emotional resilience and optimism, studies show that cultivating a sense of gratitude can foster a more positive mood in daily life and contribute to greater emotional well-being and self-esteem.
A growing body of research suggests that maintaining an attitude of gratitude can improve psychological, emotional and physical well-being. Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.
Cultivating gratitude is one of the simpler routes to a greater sense of self-esteem, and can be accomplished in several ways. Over the next month, do the following exercises and monitor your feelings of gratitude and how your feel about yourself.
First, give yourself written reminders. When you notice yourself grumbling about a negative event or stressor in your life, try to remember at least 3 things you are grateful. Write them down on a large piece of paper and post them somewhere conspicuous in your house such as your bathroom. You can also do this at work. For example, when you’re feeling stressed about something at work, think of several things that you like about your job and write them down. You can do the same thing with relationship issues, financial problems, and other daily hassles. Then, the next time you feel stressed about a situation, refer to your list and you’ll remember why you’re actually grateful.
Be careful when you make comparisons. Many people cause themselves unnecessary stress by making incorrect comparisons For example, they compare themselves to those who have more, do more, or are in closer to their ideals, thus allowing themselves to feel inferior instead of inspired. In cultivating gratitude and building self-esteem, it is more advantageous to compare yourself to people who have less than you and remind yourself of how fortunate you are. This is most useful when taken a step further by volunteering some place like a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter.
One of the best ways to build gratitude and self-esteem is to keep a gratitude journal. Journal writing helps you to combine the benefits of expressing yourself with the adoption of a more positive mindset. Because habits are usually formed within a few weeks, actively focusing on maintaining gratitude will become easier and feel more natural over time. The result will be greater feelings of emotional well-being and self-esteem.