What is gratitude?
- the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Why am I writing a blog post about being thankful? Because gratitude is an insanely easy, happy and life enhancing way of making things feel great! Even when perhaps they don’t seem that way day to day.
This is not something I used to do, but I can honestly say that since I decided to focus on what I’m grateful for in my life each day, my overall positivity, mood and enjoyment of life has taken a big upswing.
In my coaching life, I always connect with my clients by showing then I am just as vulnerable and “normal” as they are. My life is not perfect, I have my challenges, and I have discovered that Gratitude is one amazing way of keeping those challenges in perspective, and not allowing the negative mind to overtake. This I so important, and allows us to attract more of what we want, not more of the negative.
The best and easiest way to practise gratitude daily, is to focus, on waking and before bed, on 3 things that you are grateful, or 3 things that made today fantastic. This encourages us to let go of the deeply ingrained, sub-conscious habit, of waking up and focusing on the negatives thoughts that may invade our minds, or the stress points of the day ahead. And before bed, how about going off to sleep thinking about the great things in your life, or the high points of that day – rather than what you didn’t get done / think you did wrong / feel bad about etc?!
Simple, but amazingly effective.
Not convinced? Can’t see yourself getting into the habit of purposefully focusing on gratitude each day? Let me convince you with these 6 life-changing influences of Gratitude!
1. Improved health. Many people suffer with a lack of sleep and / or high stress levels. These things can really impact on our health, and in the long term, life expectancy. The act of practising gratitude every day can help to alleviate these issues by allowing you to calm the stress and feel happier. The impact of this on sleep patterns can be huge.
2. Happier. Gratitude, without a doubt, makes you happier and more satisfied. In our stress-filled, busy rat race lives, we often lose sight of the small things. The things we are so blessed to have – such as the roof over our heads, our eyesight, our health, our families – are right there in front of us, to be appreciated, and to keep our spirits high. If we take the time to notice and be thankful, our lives are so much richer than we can see.
3. Improved Relationship. Often our romantic relationship, and the quality and closeness of it, can suffer because of our fast pace, and the demands on our time. Not to mention the demands we put on each other. Focusing on what you are thankful for in your partner, allows you to reconnect with the soft side of your relationship. By you recognising those qualities you love, you tend to show more affection, and in return, see more of what you love and appreciate in your other half. Just think how good it feels when your partner is grateful for you, for what you do, for who you are? Give them that gift.
4. Less Materialistic. In today’s material world, we always want, and think we need, more! Gratitude can actually reduce materialism, as the practice of being thankful for what we already have, grows our appreciation of life right now. It allows us to really see how much we already have, and to question how much we need more “stuff”.
5. Greater life satisfaction. Again, focusing on everything that is dear to us, what we love, what we are grateful and thankful for, what we have achieved, allows to really feel our cup is flowing over. Having that awareness leads us to a happier life, one in which we consciously appreciate all that we have.
6. We become more resilient. Not only should we be grateful for all the wonderful elements of our lives, but also be grateful for the harder times, when things don’t go quite to plan. Why? Well, I’m not saying you should be a complete martyr and never express how hard you might find certain situations or events. But complaining about difficulties just builds negativity and keeps us attracting more negatives. We get stuck in a cycle of feeling sorry for ourselves, we deepen it by excessive conversations with our friends. By going for the positives, focusing on your gratitude for the lessons learnt, the self-awareness gained, and the opportunity to do it a different way next time, we feel grateful rather than resentful.
How will you practise gratitude? You could just set aside time to think about all the things you are grateful for each day. For me, the best way is to practise day and night, by writing things down. There are many different gratitude journals available for this purpose. Check out my blog on Journals here > To Journal or Not To Journal?!
Enter my competition to win a Gratitude Journal at the end of October! The winner will be randomly selected, and I will email the winner. Click here to enter > win a Gratitude Journal
In the meantime, happy gratitude journaling!
If you are interested in Gratitude, or in other ways to improve your well-being day to day, I would love to chat with you. Click here and book in for your free 30 minute session with me.