Gratitude – it’s a word that gets bandied about a fair bit these days and I think it would be easy for some to brush it off as one of those ‘fads’ that will be soon passed over for the next buzz word. But, I don’t agree.
Actually, I believe so passionately in ‘Gratitude’ that I have the word tattooed on the inside of my wrist. True story!
So, why am I so passionate about Gratitude and why do I think it can it turn your whole attitude right side up?
Historically, the expression of Gratitude (being thankful) is a common theme in many leading religions, including Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, and Hindu.
In fact, one of my favourite quotes around being thankful, comes from Buddha: “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.”
Most recently, and this is what really floats my boat about Gratitude, are the studies being done by a recent branch of the science of Psychology, Positive Psychology.
Studies are proving that grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives and social relationships. Cool huh!
Now I’ve given you a bit of an insight to the history and benefits of ‘counting your blessings’, here’s my step by step guide to helping you smile through the good and the bad times and substantially improve your sense of wellbeing along the way.
• Make time, every day – choose a regular time of day to sit quietly and reflect on the day you’ve had. I keep my journal beside my bed and do this exercise every night, right before I fall asleep. I truly believe this improves the quality of my sleep by leaving me with positive, happy thoughts of my day when I might otherwise be trawling through all the crap things that happened.
• Journal – get yourself a note book or dedicated Gratitude Journal (Kikki.K make a great one!) and dedicate this to capturing your reflections each day.
• Write down 3 things you’re grateful for – on reflection, jot down 3 things that you are grateful for each day. What did you enjoy today? What made you smile today? What surprised you about today? What did you learn today?
• Be consistent – we all lead busy lives, but if you can consistently use a Gratitude Journal you WILL see wonderful changes in your wellbeing, happiness levels and your ability to enjoy the little things.
There will be days when this practise will be challenging, trust me! You will have days when you find yourself struggling for ideas and find it hard to come up with anything remotely positive from your day …
I’ve been known to write “tonight I’m grateful for my bed”! But that’s OK, when you have these days, take extra time to consider the little things .. a sunny day, a great coffee, a simple good night cuddle from your kids or scoring a great park at the mall!
These are the days when this practise is most important, the days when you will absolutely reap the benefits, so please, stick with it.
Right then – now it’s your turn! Grab yourself a journal, set yourself the intention to journal once a day or once a week (I’d love you to practise every day!) and get to it!
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