3 WAYS TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE FOR A HAPPIER YOU
Where you put your attention can have a big influence on your life.
Due to the way our brains are naturally wired, we tend to default to a negative mindset, yet we can consciously wire them to see the good.
The ability to be thankful and feel appreciation for your life, those in it, and the events and situations that occur, and when practiced it can have a positive impact on your wellbeing.
It helps you to have a wider perspective and can change your state of mind in an instant, as it’s an opportunity to refocus and notice what is good and working in your life, and it helps to take you out of the wanting mind, to what you already have right now.
Gratitude actually changes the neural patterns of the brain, and practicing it can alter the way you see yourself and the world, and it can also help to shift heavier emotions.
Scientifically, it increases the feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine to the brain so you feel happier and more at ease. It’s a mood booster, and reminds you that even when you face challenges, that you still have good in your life. So, when you’re feeling a bit down, tap into gratitude.
Gratitude has also been shown to regulate your immune system, keeping you healthier, and it also reduces stress. As stress has been shown to be one of the biggest factors in our overall wellbeing, by practicing gratitude you can have better sleep, reduce inflammation in the body, as well as feel more balanced emotionally.
Building a gratitude practice into your day, only takes a small amount of time, but it’s impact can be profound.
1. WRITE DOWN 3 THINGS YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR
Each day write down 3 things you are grateful for and why. A great time to do this is first thing in the morning, or last thing at night before you go to bed.
These can be significant things that are going well in your life, but you can also savour the smaller moments. Maybe it’s just waking up in the morning and the sun is shining, or enjoying your morning coffee, and the sound of the birds outside. Noticing all these little things add up.
Also, gratitude doesn’t always have to be around things that are going well, perhaps there are small gifts in challenges you might be experiencing.
For example, there could be the gift of growth and wisdom as you learn through your experience, or perhaps you form a close friendship with someone who is going through something similar to you. You could call it the silver lining
Can you be grateful for something, even in the challenge?
2. SHARE YOUR GRATITUDE WITH OTHERS
You might even like to share what you’re grateful for with others, as sharing it helps increase your feelings of appreciation.
Or write a letter of gratitude to a person that you love, or has shown you kindness and give it to them; this has proven to be powerful for your state of mind.
3. MEDITATE ON GRATITUDE
Another way of approaching gratitude is to get quiet in a meditative state and acknowledge what you are grateful for, you might even like to silently whisper your gratitude, feeling this in the body, really sensing your connection to it. It can be an incredibly moving experience to connect in this way to what you are appreciative of.
What are you grateful for today?