Ahh yes, gratitude.
I’m sure you’ve heard of it but maybe you’re not too sure what it’s all about, why you should probably look at doing it or even how to do it.
So, if you’re anything like me & sometimes get overwhelmed with the internet or have a crippling dose of perfectionism running through your veins, I’m going to try to simplify it, explain it and give you some examples of how I’ve been practicing it & even what I’ve come up with recently.
WHAT IS GRATITUDE?
We all know that upon receiving a gift or a helping hand, the appropriate response is to thank that person but even then I’m guilty of saying it half-assed, as an after-thought or even not at all because my mind has already moved forward from that moment.
Simply and quite obviously, gratitude and appreciation is a feeling.
It is the quickest way to become present and the easiest solution to re-calibrate your mind to be less distracted by this fast-paced life we now live in.
To practice a grateful life means to always choose to take nothing for granted.
The choice is always there, to bring yourself back into gratitude; to be grateful or ungrateful + to notice all that is already amazing, from the smallest things of awe to the grandest acts of magic.
Choosing to be grateful does not mean that when a shitty situation occurs, you don’t clap your hands and be thankful that it happened because there are of course, things that you can’t be thankful about – – to be grateful means to look at this terrible situation and find that rainbow thread that can lead you out of the horror of it all.
For instance, if you’re self-employed and the tax man comes along and whacks a shitload of tax fees at you, you can of course be stressed out by the situation and frustrated at the tax man but you can also choose to see it the way it is > that you earned enough money in the last year to warrant that hefty bill (go you!) and also, that since you did earn enough, you saw it coming and hopefully, have that money set aside and ready to go.
Also, I really truly recommend watching Br. David Steindl-Rast’s TED Talk Want to be happy? Be grateful which has been viewed over 6 million times or listen to my two favourite podcasts; The Anatomy of Gratitude with Krista Tibbet through On Being which you can listen to here and Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul Conversations here. His descriptions and understanding of gratitude is awe-inspiring and eye opening, giving you a greater view of the concept.
THE ASTONISHINGLY LONG LIST, OF WHICH I’VE SELECTED THE TOP FIVE BENEFITS FROM A GRATEFUL LIFESTYLE
For simplicity sake and also, seriously the benefits are abounding and if you’d like to look over all of them I highly recommend visiting Happier Human’s post The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life as it’s definitely an inspiring read with all the scientific research linked up as well.
Here and now, I’ve put together the Top 5 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude (in my eyes):
- Obviously, it’s going to make us happier – when you focus all your energy on looking for & finding all the great things around you, of course it’s going to lift your spirits because the focus is no longer on the negative.
- It creates a sorta loop-de-loop of finding more and more to be grateful for whereby increasing our resilience to block out the toxic crap being shoved down our throats.
- Increases self-esteem, optimism & can even give you more energy – because why not? If you’re happier and appreciate your own damn self more, why wouldn’t you feel like skipping down the street or jumping in that puddle of water!
- Makes us friendlier + helps with our relationships = which makes sense because we become more open to the opportunities thrown at us to actually stop and notice & appreciate the small (or big) acts of kindness or joy around us which in turn, makes us want to reciprocate.
- Improves productivity + the ability to make decisions + achieve goals.
I highly recommend starting right now!
It’s free (unless you have a stationary fetish like me) and relatively easy on the brain (with practice) so go ahead and check out what you’ll need to get started plus some super easy examples if you’re stuck for inspiration.
Have you gotten aboard the gratitude train?
Have you noticed anything different in your perspective and how you view the world around you?
Does it make you stop and breathe a little easier throughout the day?