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10 Things Highly Grateful People Don’t Do

10 Things Highly Grateful People Don’t Do

Being grateful is not only essential to making others in your life feel important but it helps you feel important as well. When we show our gratitude, we are recognizing those things that make us happy, no matter how small they may seem.

“Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.’ ” – the Dalai Lama

People who are grateful do many things to show that they are, from writing down the little things for which they are grateful to telling the people in their life that they appreciate them.

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They don’t do these things:

1. They don’t assume their life will always be good.

People who are very grateful for what they have know that things could go awry at anytime. They know that despite their best efforts, sometimes life throws us curveballs and we could still lose our job — or our home. No matter what, people who are grateful for what they have, assume that sometimes bad things will happen. They are grateful for what they have anyway.

2. They don’t expect to get something in return.

People who are highly grateful do things for others because they want to. Not because they expect to get something in return. Do something nice for someone you love — or even a perfect stranger. Get them a cup of coffee, write them a short note, smile. You never know how your little act of kindness might find its way into someone else’s heart.

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3. They don’t avoid thinking about death.

People who are highly grateful understand that death and loss linger at the doorstep. While they don’t dwell on it, they don’t avoid thinking about it either. Remembering that at any moment a loved one could be taken from you helps you appreciate the here and now.

4. They don’t get impatient.

It’s easy to get impatient, even when people are doing something for us — like serving us lunch or we are waiting in line. Try to remember that even though it may be their job, these people are serving us. Be grateful for that. Service jobs are some of the hardest they are and highly grateful people recognize that. They don’t get upset if the waitress mixes up their order and they don’t start sighing heavily in a long line. Relax and show your gratitude once you get your lunch or get to the front of the line.

5. They don’t frown.

Well, maybe they do once in a while, but not often. Highly grateful people make an effort to smile at others no matter where they are. If you’re in the library, the store or your own living room, highly grateful people recognize that frowning and looking sour isn’t pleasant for anyone. Smile. It will make you and the people you meet feel better.

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6. They don’t miss an opportunity to say “thanks!”

This may seem obvious, but highly grateful people say “thank you.” A lot. It’s important to let people know that you appreciate the work they do — whether they are your employees, your kids, your spouse or people on the street. Sometimes a simple, genuine thank you can make the day of another person who might feel like they are going on with their work unnoticed and unappreciated.

7. They don’t neglect themselves.

Sometimes the only person who can adequately thank you for a job well done is you. People who are highly grateful don’t miss the chance to boost themselves up with a little gratitude as well. Take some time to write down a few good things about yourself or take yourself out for a special day. Go to a museum you like, get an ice cream cone — whatever you like, do it just for you.

8. They don’t get easily upset.

People who are highly grateful try to remain calm and light, even in a stressful situation. When you are highly grateful for what you have, you recognize that even big issues at work or home are really not that big in the grand scheme of things. Remember that while this might be a “catastrophe” at work — is it really? If no one is hurt and no one is getting fired, then try to remain calm and rectify the situation without getting everyone upset over it.

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9. They don’t avoid social media.

But they do use it mindfully. People who are highly grateful use social media in the same way they talk to people at work or in their home. They try to be a positive force and not tear others down just because it’s the Internet. According to the New York Times, good news spreads faster on the Internet than bad news. Highly grateful people recognize this and use their social media accounts for good.

10. They don’t underestimate the value of little things.

A kind word. A small flower. A baby’s smile. Even the smallest things mean a lot to a highly grateful person. This can be crucial on a bad day — or when things are not going your way. A simple compliment or a good laugh can make anyone’s day — even in the midst of something not pleasant, like a hospital visit or a tedious job assignment.

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Michelle Kennedy Hogan

Michelle is an explorer, editor, author of 15 books, and mom of eight.

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

Negativity affects ourselves and everyone around us. It limits our potential to become something great and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. Negativity has a tangible effect on our health, too. Research has shown that people who cultivate negative energy experience more stress, more sickness, and less opportunity over the course of their lives than those who choose to live positively.

When we make a decision to become positive, and follow that decision up with action, we will begin to encounter situations and people that are also positive. The negative energy gets edged out by all positive experiences. It’s a snowball effect.

Although negative and positive thoughts will always exist, the key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with more positivity.

Here are some ways to get rid of negativity and become more positive.

1. Become Grateful for Everything

When life is all about us, it’s easy to believe that we deserve what we have. An attitude of entitlement puts us at the center of the universe and sets up the unrealistic expectation that others should cater to us, our needs, and our wants. This vain state of existence is a surefire way to set yourself up for an unfulfilled life of negativity.

People living in this sort of entitlement are “energy suckers”–they are always searching for what they can get out of a situation. People that don’t appreciate the nuances of their lives live in a constant state of lacking. And it’s really difficult to live a positive life this way.

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When we begin to be grateful and appreciate everything in our lives–from the small struggles that make us better, to the car that gets us from A to B every day–we shift our attitude from one of selfishness, to one of appreciation. This appreciation gets noticed by others, and a positive harmony begins to form in our relationships.

We begin to receive more of that which we are grateful for, because we’ve opened ourselves up to the idea of receiving, instead of taking. This will make your life more fulfilling, and more positive.

2. Laugh More, Especially at Yourself

Life gets busy, our schedules fill up, we get into relationships, and work can feel task oriented and routine-driven at times. Being human can feel more like being a robot. But having this work-driven, serious attitude often results in negative and performance oriented thinking.

Becoming positive means taking life less seriously and letting yourself off the hook. This is the only life that you get to live, why not lighten up your mood?

Laughter helps us become positive by lightening our mood and reminding us not to take life so seriously. Are you sensitive to light sarcasm? Do you have trouble laughing at jokes? Usually, people who are stressed out and overly serious get most offended by sarcasm because their life is all work and no play.

If we can learn to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes, life will become more of an experiment in finding out what makes us happy. And finding happiness means finding positivity.

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3. Help Others

Negativity goes hand in hand with selfishness. People that live only for themselves have no higher purpose in their lives. If the whole point of this world is only to take care of yourself and no one else, the road to a long-term fulfillment and purpose is going to be a long one.

Positivity accompanies purpose. The most basic way to create purpose and positivity in your life is to begin doing things for others. Start small; open the door for the person in front of you at Starbucks or ask someone how their day was before telling them about yours.

Helping others will give you an intangible sense of value that will translate into positivity. And people might just appreciate you in the process.

4. Change Your Thinking

We can either be our best coach or our best enemy. Change starts from within. If you want to become more positive, change the wording of your thoughts. We are the hardest on ourselves, and a stream of negative self talk is corrosive to a positive life.

The next time you have a negative thought, write it down and rephrase it with a positive spin. For example, change a thought like, “I can’t believe I did so horribly on the test–I suck.” to “I didn’t do as well as I hoped to on this test. But I know I’m capable and I’ll do better next time.”

Changing our self-talk is powerful.

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5. Surround Yourself with Positive People

We become most like the people that we surround ourselves with. If our friend group is full of negative energy-suckers and drama queens, we will emulate that behavior and become like them. It is very difficult to become more positive when the people around us don’t support or demonstrate positive behavior.

As you become more positive, you’ll find that your existing friends will either appreciate the new you or they will become resistant to your positive changes. This is a natural response.

Change is scary; but cutting out the negative people in your life is a huge step to becoming more positive. Positive people reflect and bounce their perspectives onto one another. Positivity is a step-by-step process when you do it solo, but a positive group of friends can be an escalator.

6. Get into Action

Negative thoughts can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. Negativity is usually accompanied by a “freak-out” response, especially when tied to relationships, people and to worrying about the future. This is debilitating to becoming positive and usually snowballs into more worry, more stress and more freak-outs.

Turn the negative stress into positive action. The next time you’re in one of these situations, walk away and take a break. With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths. Once you’re calm, approach the situation or problem with a pen and pad of paper. Write out four or five actions or solutions to begin solving the problem.

Taking yourself out of the emotionally charged negative by moving into the action-oriented positive will help you solve more problems rationally and live in positivity

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7. Take Full Responsibility, Stop Being the Victim

You are responsible for your thoughts.

People that consistently believe that things happen to them handicap themselves to a victim mentality. This is a subtle and deceptive negative thought pattern. Phrases like “I have to work” or “I can’t believe he did that to me” are indicators of a victim mentality. Blaming circumstances and blaming others only handicaps our decision to change something negative into something positive.

Taking full responsibility for your life, your thoughts and your actions is one of the biggest steps in creating a more positive life. We have unlimited potential within to create our own reality, change our life, and change our thoughts. When we begin to really internalize this, we discover that no one can make us feel or do anything. We choose our emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.

Make positive choices in favor of yourself.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny” ― Lao Tzu

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Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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