Reinforce an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and thankful heart

  • Published
  • By Kimberly Watson, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Chief
  • 88th Air Base Wing

 WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- American author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “Of all the ‘attitudes’ we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing.”

As we quickly approach the holiday season, I wanted to share my thoughts on being thankful and having an attitude of gratitude. In the hustle and bustle of this thing called life, it is often easy to slip into a mindset of taking things for granted, including the people around you. It’s human nature, after all, to have those ups and downs and switch to autopilot.

Since I have been part of Team Wright-Patt for about a year and a half now, I have heard a lot about the four pillars of resiliency — mental, physical, social and spiritual.

I believe gratitude is a key factor to being resilient. An attitude of gratitude affords us the opportunity to change the way we think, feel and behave. Being thankful is a positive mindset that each of us should adopt.

A thankful heart and attitude of gratitude go hand in hand to help us focus on the positive things around us — those things for which we are grateful. We are happier, less stressed and more productive when we adopt a positive mindset. We become more connected to those around us and are present in the moment.

Now, I am not saying having an attitude of gratitude and thankful heart insulate us from ever having negative thoughts or feelings, because life is not all rainbows and puppies or kittens. We will face trials and tribulations during our lifetime — that is a given. However, a positive mindset allows us to bounce back and move past those negative thoughts and feelings because we have taken time to develop a practice of focusing on thankfulness and gratitude.

Sure, we are human and can sometimes compare ourselves to others who we believe may have things easier or better than we do instead of being thankful and grateful for the things we do have and people with whom we are fortunate enough to share our lives. Because we have adopted the attitude of gratitude, we have cultivated a powerful emotion that can improve our health, strengthen relationships and even impact our careers.

If you are wondering how you can work on adopting an attitude of gratitude or thankful heart, consider starting a gratitude journal or jotting down affirmations on a sticky note. Write down those things for which you are thankful or grateful, and they can serve as reminders whenever negative thoughts or feelings start to creep in. We can then refocus our thoughts and feelings on the things that really matter.

Remember, our mind is a very powerful tool, and we need to continually fuel it with positive affirmations — those thoughts that reinforce being grateful and thankful.