Gratitude –the quality of being Thankful, being able to express and show appreciation for what we have in life.

I sometimes think that the value , importance and role of gratitude in living well has lost out to modern notion of self directed living and that we are the masters and creators of our own universe.

I do not think that I can exist without the power, creation and love of others.

To be grateful is to be thankful and to acknowledge and make known that thanks. We can be thankful each day to our higher power, to God, to the universe, to our lover, family, partner, husband, wife, children, our employer, employees, doctor, nurse, therapist ,neighbour, friend, who ever and what ever. Practising gratitude is being able to appreciate what we have in life rather than focusing on what we do not have. Being able to be grateful for the wonderful things and cycle of nature, appreciating the small things in our life, being tuned in to our senses and the joys this can bring us. We need to tune in to the smell of a flower, the calmness and tranquillity of nice cup of tea, the sound of the birds singing in the morning, the leaves on the trees when we go outside , the feel of the ground under our feet, the sun on our faces. The joys of being alive and being human.

We can express gratitude by giving thanks and showing appreciation and in turn feel good about that.

Tips to help you practice gratitude and reap the benefits of greater happiness in your life .

  • Everyday, become aware of people you can say thank you to. Show your appreciation of them by acknowledging this thanks .Tell them the positive thing(s) they have done that you appreciate. Sharing a positive word of encouragement to someone is a powerful way to connect with people and you will receive back the wave of connection. Notice how you feel when someone thanks you sincerely and shows you that you are being appreciated.
  • Use a gratitude journal. I started this after my marriage ended and there was many other storms in my life that time. I felt like I was in a tsunami of disaster and crises and could not see how things would turn out all right. My friend gave me a beautiful blank page notebook with a note to say this is for a gratitude Journal and write something in to it, every night for which you are grateful. I did ! It took real persistence and effort to find things I could be grateful for some of those days but it focused me on survival and on picking out small good events/people/feelings/aspects of the day that were still present and positive in my life. I realised after some time that my gratitude list was getting easier and longer. Store this magical book in a safe place and when you get a bad day, you can open a page to remind yourself of people and things you ca n be grateful about. Oprah Winfrey is well recorded to having spoken of keeping this type of journal

Perhaps a phone app is more your thing so that is available also

  • Gratitude is a housekeeping tool of the mind. It helps the mind to focus on positive, to be aware of the good in life ,to affirm the flow of the world, to bring the mind back to associate good feelings with the acknowledgement of happy events, memories etc.. When life brings troubles and storms, and it will because this is nature and reality, the mind that practices gratitude in the good times can switch from focus on the negative to the positive by using this housekeeping tool. We all know people that in disaster or very troubled times , that can say ”its not so bad…. I can get through this…, this is a life lesson”. We can be one of those people by practicing gratitude
  • There are 7 scientifically proven benefits of Gratitude that will motivate you to give thanks all year round.

They include:

  1. Opening doors to more relationships
  2. Improved physical health
  3. Improved psychological health
  4. Enhanced empathy and reduced aggression
  5. Better sleep
  6. Improved self esteem
  7. Increased mental strength, reduced stress and improved resilience

So “Developing an attitude of gratitude is one of the simplest ways to improve to improve your satisfaction with life”  Forbes (November27th. 2014)

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