Gratitude. It seems to be the word of the decade and certainly something we are encouraged to think about and ponder. But can gratitude really alter our state of mind? We investigate…
It is a simple practice, in essence, of casting your mind to the things in your life and acknowledging the ones you feel grateful for. It seems simple and straight-forward, but when we are focused on negativity, or if we haven’t tried it before, it can be a tough habit to get into.
Although we are taught to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, and to be grateful for things in our lives, as we grow as adults, being thankful for the small things kind of falls by the wayside, and it becomes a thing that falls to the bottom of our to-do lists.
The practice of gratuity allows us to be appreciative and thankful for the things we have in our lives, rather than focussing on the things we do not have and the things we wish we had.
The question is, can the practice of being grateful alter our state of mind and our being? The answer is yes.
When we are grateful for something, that increases our vibration and the positivity we are feeling. When we increase our vibration and raise ourselves up, that is when we can start to see things shift and change.
While it may seem like a fluffy concept, when we put it into practice, we can see the benefits of it.
In terms of those benefits, we will be able to see little tweaks and changes in how we see the world and how the world sees us.
You will notice that you will have a more positive energy around you, you will start to see more good in every day, and you will notice that there are more things around you that you are grateful for.
So, now we know some of the benefits, here are some of the ways you can practice gratitude in your everyday life.
You can start to keep a gratitude journal that you can fill out every day. Now, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy, and it certainly doesn’t need to be a purpose built thing. You can use any notebook that you have at home, and you can start any time. There are no specific rules or ways of doing things. You can start by writing out the things you feel grateful for and then see where that leads you in terms of your writing and thoughts. Remember that you are writing for you, and it doesn’t matter how it sounds or looks, just let it flow.
Notes on your phone
Another great option is to load up the notes section on your phone and to write from there. We know that having a notebook and sitting down at the same time each day to write is not always practical. So, you can use the notes on your phone and you can write when the inspiration or the moment strikes you, so it can be a bullet point list or even your own version of shorthand, just to get those thoughts and feelings out into the world.
Quiet moments to yourself
Another way you can bring gratitude into your life is to have small and quiet moments to yourself. Now, you might want to call this meditation, or even contemplation, but it doesn’t matter what we call it, what matters is how we spend the time and the intention behind it. Take a seat, get cosy, close your eyes and find stillness, then you can start to bring in thoughts of gratitude and the things in your life that bring you joy, peace, light you up and matter the most to you. There is no right or wrong way to do this, and be prepared that the first few times will feel strange if you are not used to this practice, but there is no right or wrong, and it’s your own practice.
Tasks of gratitude
This one is a little different, but we promise the thought behind it is still the same! When you are building the kettle, making some toast, waiting for a bus or whatever other small moments you have in your day, see if you can incorporate some thoughts of gratitude. It could be thoughts for people, things, places, objects, animals, anything that comes into your mind. This doesn’t have to take a long time, perhaps only a minute or two, but building these thoughts into your day can be a powerful and accessible way to start thinking about gratitude.
If you feel a little silly at first or even out of your depth, know that it is totally normal and fine, that everyone experiences those awkward feelings, even when we have been practicing gratitude for months or even years.
It is important to remember that it isn’t something you can get wrong, and your reason for doing it may be different to someone else. If you are struggling to see the big things you are grateful for, think about the small things. It could be the cup of tea you just made, getting to read a new book, the sound of the rain against the windows or maybe the hot water bottle you just bought for yourself.
There is a temptation to think that gratitude has to be around big events, big things and the things that we cannot explain, but in reality, we can be grateful for anything at all we have in our lives and how they impact us.
Gratitude also gives us a space to think about what we would like to let go of, and how we go about that. The things that do not serve us anymore and do not light us up. That is a conversation for another day, but it is definitely something to ponder on and think about how we start to let go of the things that don’t feel good anymore.
Gratitude takes practice, and we would love to hear how you are getting on. Get in touch and let us know what you are grateful for.