It is far too easy to focus on the areas of our lives where we feel a lack of something or where we feel the need to complain. This blog begins with this statement as it is often the first place people’s minds go to even when they hear of gratitude so lets get the negativity out of the way so we can focus on the positive message of this blog.
Practising gratitude goes beyond simply saying thanks and moving on. It’s more about feeling the joy and acknowledging what it is exactly we are grateful for. The more we notice the positive aspects in our lives and express gratitude, the more they will come as we will be more open to noticing them.
This will resonate with some more than others and in different ways. Some may realise how long it is since they noticed the positives, the good or even just the people in their lives who make a difference. Some of you may already be practising gratitude and simply want a reminder to do this daily, weekly, monthly or whatever works best for you.
For those who want to dedicate more time and effort to this practice grab a piece of paper and pen or even a close friend to share your gratitude list with. Go back to a point in your life when you stopped being grateful and allowing the negatives in and start noting/ saying all the parts of your life you are grateful for and truly feel the joy of those moments. Note the big positives but also acknowledge those small gestures in your life which have made you smile. You can set yourself a limit of 100, which you will reach quickly I can assure you and state:
‘ I am grateful for (event or person) because ……’.
The acknowledging part is what you are grateful for and the joy will come through in the reason why you are grateful as you feel how it has impacted on your life.
This is the same process for those wanting to bring it into a frequent practice as you can use the same words or whatever terminology fits for you. it is more important to practise rather than get caught up in the right words to use otherwise this will soon get caught up in your negative routines.
For a daily practice, you may choose to have 3 – 5 things you are grateful for which you may write in a notebook as you go to bed or you may choose to share them with the people closest to you. By doing this at the end of the day, you end the day more positively looking at what has gone well and who you are grateful for rather than dealing with a to do list which could leave you frustrated.
Of course, there is no reason to keep this to yourselves so if you find you are grateful for having someone in your life and want to express thanks for a specific moment or gesture then why not share that with them. This could improve an interaction or reinforce a connection and lets face it who doesn’t like hearing good things about themselves and how they have impacted positively on someone’s day. Through practising this regularly you will soon find that the gratitude is acknowledged at the time before you even get to the point of noting it down in the evening.
There are many benefits to this practice so it is worth taking the time to catch up on your grateful moments. It won’t take long for you to start becoming more positive in your approach to life and the people in it and you will find yourself naturally noticing and commenting on the joys in your life more often. Your relationships will improve as people feel recognised in your life and you will also notice you are sleeping better as you are more relaxed in the evening.
So what are you grateful for? Feel free to share some of those moments with us as the more you acknowledge them the more they will happen.