Gratitude is more than saying thank you to someone. It allows us to acknowledge all the great things that we have in our lives, even when we sometimes may think we do not have very much.
The more things that we are grateful for in our lives, the more things we find to be grateful for. Have a think about what you are grateful for right now. How many things can you think of? Is it a challenge to think of something?
According to Amy Morin, 7 scientific benefits of gratitude include:
1. opens the door to more relationships
2. improves physical health
3. improves psychological health
4. enhances empathy & reduces aggression
5. grateful people sleep better
6. improves self-esteem
7. increases mental strength
I personally practice gratitude at the start my day and it gives me the best possible start to each day.
I have my own separate journal where I record my gratitude’s to keep them all together. Some people prefer to say them out loud, some type them on the computer or use an app – whatever suits you best, is the best thing for you. I personally have found that I have received more benefits by physically writing them down on paper.
I write 10 things that I am grateful for each day and start each sentence like…
“I am so happy and grateful now that…”
I just do not write each one and move on to the next one in a rush – this cannot nor should not feel like a chore. I think about each one individually and feel the feeling of gratitude within me each time. The more detail that you write, the stronger that feeling will be. The stronger the feeling the better you will feel too.
I write about things that I already have, things that I am working towards/want (and write them down as if I already have them physically), and I also write about things that didn’t go in my favour and find a reason why I am grateful for that happening (this one can be difficult to do at the start but it will get easier over time).
Some examples of gratitude could be…
– I am so happy and grateful now that I live in my dream home with my husband and kids
– I am so happy and grateful now that I have a comfortable and cosy bed to sleep in every night
– I am so happy and grateful now that I have fresh air to breathe every day
– I am so happy and grateful now that I have hot water every day to shower in
– I am so happy and grateful now that I can teach people all around the world from the comfort of my office
– I am so happy and grateful now that I have met my soul mate
– I am so happy and grateful now that I have clean running water
– I am so happy and grateful for my car that can take me anywhere I want in comfort
– I am so happy and grateful now that my boss is a kind & fair person and a good leader
– I am so happy and grateful for take-aways as I can have my food cooked and delivered to me as a treat
I hope that gives you an idea on what to do to begin or continue your own practice.
Another time that I might need to remind myself to practice my gratitude would be if something does not go the way I want it to go…
– if the bus is late, I could remind myself how grateful I am that there is a bus service that can take me where I want to go
– if I try a new recipe and it is not to my liking then I am grateful that I have food to eat
– if my battery dies on my phone, I am grateful that I have electricity that will recharge my battery and that I can use my devices for my work
– when someone damaged my car I eventually found I was able to be grateful that neither my kids, husband or myself were in or near the car at the time as we could have been badly hurt and grateful that we had insurance to pay for it to be fixed
There is always something to be grateful for but sometimes it might be more of a challenge to find it, but when you do, you will be proud of yourself that you kept looking for it