16 Short Quotes About Having an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’

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Experiencing more happiness throughout life is a goal virtually everyone shares. Many assume that they will be happier when they acquire more possessions and have more experiences for which they can be grateful.

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This is an understandable assumption. However, researchers are continuing to learn that the equation may be the other way around. Both personal anecdotes and genuine studies are revealing that expressing gratitude for what you already have may be the key to unlocking the door to a happier life.

This is the principle behind the idea of cultivating an “attitude of gratitude.” By learning to be more consistently grateful for what you already have, you can generate major positive changes in your emotional health.

There are many ways to develop an attitude of gratitude. One is to read gratitude quotes. Doing so on a regular basis can remind you about the value of being grateful. This guide offers a few noteworthy examples of quotes you might return to when you need some inspiration.

Religious Quotes About Having an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’

Many “attitude of gratitude” quotes stem from religious beliefs and practices. Consider the following examples:

1. “A disciplined mind brings happiness” – Buddha

This Buddha quote simplifies a vital lesson about cultivating an attitude of gratitude. It’s important to understand that developing a more grateful mindset and attitude isn’t always something that is easy to do right away.

It takes discipline and focus to shift one’s mindset when they’ve lived a long time with their current attitudes and perspectives. If you attempt to develop an attitude of gratitude with the realistic understanding that doing so will take some time and effort, you will be more likely to stay motivated.

(For more Buddhist wisdom, check out our list of Buddhist quotes about death.)

2. “If you cannot be grateful for what you have received, then be thankful for what you have been spared.” – Yiddish proverb

Some find it difficult to begin developing a more grateful mindset because they genuinely feel they have not had the types of experiences or lifestyles for which they can be truly grateful. This attitude of gratitude quote explains that in such circumstances, a person can begin embracing a more grateful perspective on life by at least acknowledging that there are certain pains and struggles others have endured that they have not.

3. “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

This Bible verse shares a simple message about cultivating an attitude of gratitude that may resonate with Christians. It reminds those of the Christian faith that developing an attitude of gratitude doesn’t merely involve being grateful when things are going well. To truly shift your attitude, you need to feel grateful even when you are facing struggles.

4. “He whose (desires) are few gets them; he whose (desires) are many goes astray.” – Lao Tzu

This Taoist quote highlights one of the methods some find useful when developing an attitude of gratitude. By placing less focus on what you don’t have, you can enjoy what you currently have and find that you draw toward you more for which to be grateful. If you are ungrateful and focus primarily on lack, you will repel the very experiences and blessings you wish to have more of.

Spiritual Quotes About Having an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ 

Some people who believe in a spiritual side to existence nevertheless struggle to find one specific religion that is right for them. Attitude of gratitude quotes that may appeal to such people include:

5. “Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way” – Native American proverb

This attitude of gratitude quote has a spiritual connotation without aligning with one specific religious tradition given its general mention of blessings. It highlights how, although being grateful for what we already have is certainly key to developing an attitude of gratitude, that doesn’t mean we can’t also experience gratitude for what’s to come in life.

6. “Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot.” – Alice Walker

Those who wish to embrace their spiritual sides but can’t find one particular religion to commit to often look for alternative forms of prayer. This is an example of how someone might be more spiritual without being religious.

By saying thank you more often and considering the act to be a form of prayer, they’ll be cultivating an attitude of gratitude while also engaging in an act that may serve the same purpose that traditional prayer does for a religious person.

7. “Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on your behalf.” – Alan Cohen

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude and cultivating spiritual faith are similar tasks. They require commitment and dedication, but those who remain focused on these tasks will eventually reap the rewards.

8. “An attitude of gratitude brings great things” – Yogi Bhajan

An attitude of gratitude quote doesn’t need to be elaborate or even particularly long to have meaning. Consider this example. It’s a simple reminder that being more grateful will result in a life of abundance.

9. “A sense of blessedness comes from a change of heart, not from more blessings.” – Mason Cooley

There are many reasons why cultivating an attitude of gratitude may have a positive impact on a person’s overall happiness levels. One reason may be that developing an attitude of gratitude changes the way someone experiences the world.

If someone is not grateful for what they have now, it’s highly likely they won’t be happy and grateful when they acquire more blessings. If they can allow themselves to rejoice in the blessings they already have, odds are good they will do the same as more blessings come into their life.

Quotes About Developing an Attitude of Gratitude

Not all attitude of gratitude quotes are strictly religious or even spiritual in nature. Consider these examples:

10. “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.” – Maya Angelou

Many find that cultivating an attitude of gratitude is easier if they make expressing gratitude part of their daily rituals. Thus, whether you’re religious or not, setting aside time at the end of every day to reflect on what you are grateful for can help you develop an attitude of gratitude more quickly than you otherwise might.

11. “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” – Unknown

Some sources attribute this quote to Buddha. However, as is often the case with “Buddha quotes” on the internet, there is little evidence to suggest he ever actually spoke these words.

That doesn’t negate their power. Remember, cultivating an attitude of gratitude is not about being grateful solely when life is “perfect.” The goal is to learn to be grateful for what you do have instead of dwelling on what you don’t have.

12. “The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” – Mary Davis

This short attitude of gratitude quote explains one of the reasons being more grateful can lead to more happiness. When you look for things to be grateful for, you’re more likely to find them. It’s that simple.

13. “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorns have roses.” – Alphonse Karr

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude may not always be easy at first, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be complex. Some find it helpful to remember that what they are trying to do when developing a grateful attitude is simply making a basic change in their perspective.

They’re not making a dramatic life change, they’re only changing what they focus on. The process of developing an attitude of gratitude may overwhelm you less if you’re able to think about it in this manner.

14. “Appreciation can make a day—even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” – Margaret Cousins

This attitude of gratitude quote serves multiple purposes. It explains how putting our gratitude into words is a simple way a person can develop the tendency to be more grateful on a routine basis. It also reminds us that expressing our gratitude for the role someone else plays in our life doesn’t merely benefit us. It can also have a profound impact on them.

15. “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus

This is another quote that explains why cultivating an attitude of gratitude can bring happiness while being ungrateful can lead to unhappiness. If you don’t express gratitude for your current circumstances, you prevent any of the good aspects of your life from bringing you the joy that they have the potential to deliver if you would allow them to.

On the other hand, if you rejoice in all that you currently have to be grateful for, you’ll find it easier to savor the best aspects of your life. This, in turn, will make it much easier to live with the struggles and disappointments you may face.

16. “It's not happiness that brings us gratitude. It's gratitude that brings us happiness.” – Unknown

This anonymous attitude about gratitude quote sums up the main lesson to take away from all these quotes: If you are grateful, you will grow happier. Remember, that’s not a vague or baseless claim, either. Science is now confirming for us what all the authors of these quotes have known for a very long time.

Attitude of Gratitude Quotes: The Path to Happiness

As these examples likely demonstrated, a quote doesn’t need to actually have the words “attitude of gratitude” in it to qualify as an attitude of gratitude quote. It merely needs to explain why cultivating such an attitude is valuable, touch on how we may go about doing so, or both. If quotes on important life topics interest you, you may also want to read our list of quotes about death.

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