Gratitude. Put into simple terms gratitude is a feeling of appreciation or a positive response to something.
When was the last time you felt profoundly grateful for something? Was it when you came home to your favourite meal? Or the fact that your Aunt just kicked cancers butt? Or maybe you’re grateful simply because the sun is shining today.
There is something extremely powerful in the ability to be grateful, to find something in every day for which you feel thankful, to allow yourself to find positivity even in the darkest of times. I found that through some of life’s toughest challenges, concentrating on the small things that brought joy to my life, were the reasons I kept pushing through. When I became conscious of gratitude, frequently bringing it to the forefront of my mind, I allowed myself to find positivity through the strangest of days.
I like to think of gratitude as a journey, a path you follow with the ultimate goal of reaching a higher happiness. Here are four ways to incorporate more gratitude into your life that I can personally attest.
Pfft, yeah right. No seriously, meditation is something I never thought I’d appreciate, turns out taking even just 5 minutes a day to centre my mind has become an integral part of my day. Start by concentrating on your breathing, allow yourself to be fully present in the moment, focus on the things you’re grateful for and reap the calming benefits.
Mentally Thank Someone
Has someone done something really thoughtful for you lately, do you have a reason to thank someone? Do it mentally. Even thinking about a loved one who has done something nice for you and taking the time to thank them mentally will have positive effects on your gratitude journey.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Write it down. This is my personal favourite; I started my gratitude journey with a book called ‘The 6 Minute Diary'. (We’ll dive deeper into this in a future post.) Every morning before I get out of bed, I write down 3 things I’m grateful for and when I get back into bed that night, I write down what made my day great. Regular gratitude journaling has been shown to result in 5% to 15% increases in optimism, so whether you’ve written that your grateful for a big promotion or the fact the shop had your favourite chocolate in stock, the process of journaling your gratitude will begin to show increases in your happiness.
Write a Thank You Note
Make yourself feel good whilst also acknowledging the benefits of another person in your life, by writing a thank you note. You can express your appreciation in a short message and send it or why not deliver in person for an added extra personal touch. Try to do this every month, giving thanks – occasionally, write a note to yourself too!
Not only that, gratitude is continually proving to be more than simply emotions – there are also some really interesting health benefits to embracing gratitude! Studies have shown that gratitude can increase your happiness by 25% and that the mind of a grateful person is linked to healthier blood pressure as well as a stronger immune system and one of my personal favourites – it’s even been linked to better sleep quality!
Why not start by just trying to add a few of these things into your routine this week? Slowly the added benefits of gratitude will begin to present themselves and introduce a more positive, conscious way of enjoying your life!