How to develop and maintain an Attitude of Gratitude

Practicing gratitude is the number one thing I recommend to people who are struggling with their mindset.

As an entrepreneur, especially if you work alone the majority of the time, it can be tough. It is common to feel lonely, it is common to feel the weight of everything on your shoulders, it is common to feel disheartened and overwhelmed and concerned about the future.

Mastering your mindset doesn’t erase those feelings – let’s just start by making this point very clearly – positive thinking isn’t in any way about making things perfect all of the time. It’s not all unicorns and rainbows I’m afraid.

Mastering your mindset is developing tools you can call upon when challenges arise.

And gratitude is a fantastic practice to help you do just that. Practicing gratitude will help you develop more resilience and more positivity. These two things will help you become more creative, productive, motivated and secure in your life and in your business.

So, how does it work?

When we think a thought, any thought, it triggers a chemical reaction in our bodies. In the case of grateful thoughts our bodies release neurotransmitters called

serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters help control our emotions and they make us feel good! They’re also known as happy hormones! The more of these happy hormones we create the more positive we feel and the more benefits we experience due to that

positivity – we give off a positive energy and have that energy returned to us, good things just seem to happen, we come up with great ideas and we feel excited about the future.

When something stressful occurs we think thoughts that don’t produce happy hormones. Maybe we think about what a failure we are? Maybe we start to worry about how much money we’re making (or not making)? These negative thoughts also release chemicals – adrenalin and cortisol are the infamous stress hormones. They cause anxiety. They can stop us in our tracks, and they are not helpful or conducive to happiness and success.

Why does practicing gratitude help?

The key word here – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – is practice.

Yes, in the moment thinking grateful thoughts will benefit you. You will receive the lovely dose of serotonin and dopamine and you will feel good. But we’re talking about mindset mastery…not mindset one-off and so, to get long lasting results, practice is key.

Back to the neuroscience for a moment…when we practice thoughts i.e. repeat them, our minds and bodies are looking for ways to make it easier and quicker. We produce a substance called myelin which is basically greasing the tracks for your thoughts, making them easier to think each time. More practice = more myelin and it doesn’t take very long for the route of those thoughts to become the go-to easy option.

This means that, by practicing gratitude regularly you are consciously encouraging it to become your go-to. Then when you are faced with a set-back or a challenge you will naturally and unconsciously think more grateful thoughts, giving you the release of happy hormones allowing you to see the possibilities for positivity, the opportunities and the things that are good.

Because even in the darkest of times, there are things to be grateful for.

How do I practice gratitude?

Practice does not have to be perfect, in fact it’s a good thing if sometimes you find your practice more challenging – that demonstrates that you are improving, progressing and positively developing your mindset.

I recommend practicing gratitude daily. Personally, I love an evening practice which is why I post a daily gratitude practice every evening in my free Facebook community LEMONADE, but you may prefer to do you practice in the morning or after lunch or whenever. Find a time that works for you. Commit to your practice and be consistent with it.

You don’t need a fancy journal, but if you’re a stationary lover then go for it! I do my practice publicly on the gratitude post, lots of other members of the group join me and I believe that brings a really powerful energy to our practices. Some members simply use the daily gratitude posts as their reminders, and they then go to their journal or simply practice in their heads. However you practice is perfect as long as you are bringing those grateful thoughts to your conscious awareness.

The practice itself is simple and stays the same – say to yourself ‘Today I am grateful for…’ and just capture what comes up for you. It might be something really profound! It might be something that often you take for granted. Whatever it is, capture it, appreciate it and allow yourself to get those happy hormones flowing.

Pro-Tip: if you find a person coming to mind whether they did something special or not, take a moment to pass that gratitude on – say it to them, send a text, tag them – this will give you an extra boost of happy hormones because it’s very likely they will release some of their own to boot! It’s a lovely win-win!

How do I maintain an attitude of gratitude?

There’s no quick fix here, it comes down to consistent and committed practice. Since I started posting the daily gratitude practices in LEMONADE, I haven’t missed a day. Some days have been easier than others, but like I said – that’s good.

Over time you will notice that your mind naturally goes to grateful thoughts when your faced with challenges.

That’s when you know it’s working. Keep going. A master never stops learning and developing.

Join my free Facebook Group LEMONADE and join us for our daily gratitude practices. You can also receive a gorgeous free sleep meditation when you join!

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