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We all know what gratitude means. But how many of us really express it daily; to ourselves, the world around us and the people that we meet? Can you imagine how different life would be if we all did that
Now I know that it can be easy to get caught up in all the things that aren’t working in your life; the parts of your home you’d like to improve, the job that you don’t love and your partner’s annoying habits! On top of that we’re always comparing ourselves to others and are left feeling like we come up short.
But, what if you could turn that around?...
Now, you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘attitude of gratitude’ and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was the latest self-help fad. But studies have shown that the benefits of gratitude include a happier outlook on life, feeling less lonely, easing anxiety and even helping us get a better night’s rest.
That all sounds pretty good, right?
It’s easier than you think to develop a gratitude mindset and build habits into your day that support a new way of looking at life. Here’s how you can get started…
BEGIN EVERY DAY WITH GRATITUDE
When you open your eyes, be thankful for a new day before you worry about what time it is and how much you have to get done. While you shower think of three things that you’re grateful for; the snuggly bed that you just got out of, warm clean water to wash with and the food that you’ll be enjoying for breakfast. Some days it might stop there and other days the list might go on and on.
Starting each day like this, helps us see the good in our lives and stops us complaining about the small things that are not all that important. It also creates a positive mood for the rest of your day.
EXPRESS YOUR GRATITUDE
We’ve probably all been guilty of taking people for granted, especially those that are closest to us. Perhaps your partner picked up your favourite chocolates for you or your mum did the school run for you last week? Maybe a neighbour brings in your bins while you’re at work or closes the gate after the postman. They’re all small things that are so easy to take for granted. But a small thank you goes a long way to show how much we appreciate these small gestures. It also cultivates stronger relationships and is a great example to show our children - don’t you think?
START A GRATITUDE JOURNAL
You could incorporate this into your morning or evening routine or simply carry a small journal with you throughout the day to jot down whatever comes to mind. You can pick up gratitude journals in many different sizes and with beautiful designs or simply use your favourite notebook. Many day planners also include places to write your daily gratitude in which I love because it keeps everything in one place.
Over time you’ll notice how this becomes a positive source of inspiration - I love reading back over mine. And, they can be a great way to get your mood back on track when you’re facing a challenging day.
SHOW YOURSELF SOME APPRECIATION
You deserve your own gratitude too. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you how well you’re doing - tell yourself. If you’re not used to acknowledging your own strengths then this might feel challenging to begin with but stick with it because it gets easier.
Try it – make a list of the things you’re grateful to yourself for; today or in the past. They don’t all have to be big things or grand gestures. Perhaps you got everyone ready and out on time this morning or made an appointment for that health check you’ve been meaning to get. Don’t be afraid of thinking bigger too, express gratitude to yourself for being the best mum you can be, for supporting a friend when they needed it the most. I’m sure you can think of many more.
REDUCE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
When you’ve been used to seeing the world in a negative way, your mind might put up a little resistance to your new gratitude practice. Learn to simply observe the negative thoughts and notice when they arise…
Maybe you’ll catch yourself looking at your friend’s new car; sparkling and much more exciting than yours. While scrolling through phone you’ll compare yourself to someone and feel less than enough. Look out for these thoughts and rather than berate yourself for having them simply counterbalance them with something positive that you’re feeling grateful for.
Since there are so many physical, mental, and emotional benefits to developing a mindset of gratitude, why not start cultivating that mindset now? Please use these suggestions above to help you get started. Developing a gratitude mindset is simple but it does ask that you keep an open mind to making changes and remain consistent with your practice.
It’s more than worth it though because a grateful heart shines like no other.
Created to support your daily gratitude practice...
GRATITUDE MEDITATION CANDLE
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.