ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

3 Ways to Foster an Attitude of Gratitude

Updated on May 24, 2016

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is defined by the dictionary as a noun, meaning "the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful". Most people relate gratitude to Thanksgiving, when they go around the table and say what they are thankful for- family, friends, a job, health, etc. But gratitude isn't just a noun, a thing we do once a year; gratitude is a verb -- an action that can and should take place every day of the year and not just on special occasions.

Gratitude Is An Action

The dictionary may say that gratitude is a noun, but it is, in fact, a verb. A verb of course is a word that denotes action and gratitude is very much an action because it requires conscious thought, analysis and practice. If you have to think about what you are thankful for and why you are thankful for it, and then put that thankfulness into practice to produce a positive result, then it only makes sense that gratitude is an action verb. However, most people just stop at thinking about the things for which they are grateful, and even less people think about why they are grateful for that thing. Only the ones who have truly figured out the secret to happiness through an attitude of gratitude can turn their thankfulness into an action.

Step 1- Thought

So how does one learn to have an attitude of gratitude? The first step is to consciously think about the things you are grateful for. This step is by far the easiest. Many people could sit down and make out a long inventory of their blessings, from having clean air and water to their morning cup of coffee. In fact, making a list of the things for which you are thankful is a great way to train yourself to have a more thankful attitude because thoughts slip in and out of our minds a thousand times a day; making a physical list and having something concrete to refer back to keeps your thankfulness list at the front of your mind.

What are you most thankful for?

See results

Step 2- Analysis

Now that you have made a list of the things you are thankful for, it's time to dig a little deeper. For each item on your list, ask yourself these four questions:

  • What would my life be like without this person/thing?
  • What kind of work did I have to do in order to have this person/thing in my life?
  • How are other people affected that do not have this person/thing?
  • How has my life improved because of this person/thing?

These questions can apply to anything on your list. For example, if you are grateful for your mother, think about what your life would be like if she were suddenly gone. You obviously didn't have to work to get your mother (quite the opposite!), but you do have to work to maintain a good relationship with her, such as remembering her birthday and telling her you love her. Not everyone has a mother; how do think those people feel and cope without that relationship? And finally, how has your mother improved your life? Did she make you eat your vegetables so you could be healthy and have healthy habits as an adult? Did she make you do your homework so you could get good grades and have a quality education?

Step 3- Practice

So now you have made a list of the things that you are grateful for and have analyzed your reasons for being grateful for each of those things. That's great! But if you truly want to make gratitude an attitude, then you must take some sort of action for each item on the list.

Going back to the previous example in which you were thankful for your mother and then thought about all the reasons why you are thankful to have her in your life, now it is time to put your thankfulness into practice. Tell her how much you appreciate her and all the things she's done for you over the years. Tell her you're thankful for all the lessons she taught you even when you didn't want to learn them, and for doing all the thankless chores often associated with motherhood.

If you are thankful to have clean air and water, then volunteer to clean up trash from a nearby creek. If you are thankful to have your morning coffee, then perhaps pay for the coffee of the customer behind you in line, or make a pot of coffee for your co-workers.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

— William Arthur Ward


Gratitude isn't just a feeling; it is a way of life that when you allow it to grow, can change your life for the better. Gratitude can change your daily perspective on the things around you that you take for granted. It can make you more conscious and empathetic to those around you who may not get to enjoy all of the abundant blessings that you enjoy, and it can inspire you to make positive changes in your life as well as have a positive impact on the world around you.

Putting pen to paper and making a list of the things you are thankful for makes those things more real, much more so than just having a transient thought. Consciously analyzing those things and examining how much they mean to you assigns a deeper meaning for each one. And finally, assigning a positive action for each item on your list and then making those positive actions a habit transforms gratitude from a noun to a verb.

Try adopting an attitude of gratitude today and see how much it can change your life for the better.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)