Don’t you get annoyed when people feel sorry for themselves or don’t find anything positive in their life? When they moan and complain although in reality they should be thankful for everything they have? There is definitely an existing culture that’s lacking gratitude nowadays, especially in the more ‘developed’ societies.
Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness (according to the almighty Google). Well I have news for you. Gratitude improves your mental health. That’s right, you heard it – or rather, read it. Just as you do a sweatyworkout and feel better when you’re done, you can practice gratitude and have the same feeling of euphoria afterwards.
With gratitude, we acknowledge the goodness in our lives. While in this process, we can realise that goodness also lies externally, so outside of ourselves. This helps us connect to something greater than ourselves: to the universe, nature, a higher power or other people.
Studies have shown that there’s a strong link between wellbeing and gratitude. This translates into having more fulfilled relationships, sleeping better, becoming resilient, reducing stress and protecting yourself from depression. Are you convinced yet? Perhaps a test will do the trick.
Let me give you a couple of ideas about how to practice gratitude and then it’s totally up to you to reap the benefits. Only you know the right level of gratitude you want to have in your life, if this works for you and whether it has a positive impact.
A simple exercise you can do on your own is to write a list of three things you are grateful for everyday for two weeks. You need to allocate a time every day that you will sit down in peace and reflect on your day. This will allow you to find the three things you’re most grateful for onthat particular day.
Expressing gratitude to someone else can bring a powerful connection to them. You can tell someone close to you you love them and how much you appreciate them. And if they look at you puzzled or skeptical, feel free to explain to them why they mean so much to you and what it is that makes you grateful they are in your life. Remember to speak from the heart.
If you want to experience some of gratitude’s benefits, you need to start doing the work here and now. You can’t expect to see a change in the world if you don’t make a change in your own life. Think about how our world would be a better place if we all played our part, no matter how small, and practiced gratitude more regularly.
I would love to hear how you express gratitude in your life. What other ways do you use to show how grateful you are for others or your accomplishments? You can contact me or leave a comment under the blog to let me know.
P.S. Next free yoga class coming up next Saturday at 11.15 (BST) so please contact me here for the link if you want to join. Donations are always welcome here and you can see my services, including a SPECIAL OFFER, here. Namaste.