With so many pressures in today’s world to be more, do more, have more it can be easy to fall into patterns of thinking where we believe we are not enough and do not have enough. Whether this shows up in our personal lives, our professional endeavours or our relationship with ourselves, it can have devastating effects on our perceived happiness.
In my last blog post I discussed how mindfulness can offer a way out of some of these overwhelming thoughts. This week, I’m turning the focus slightly to the practice of expressing gratitude.
Gratitude has often been seen as a social norm, an element of a polite interaction, drilled into us from a young age when minding our manners. Say thank you, be grateful. But recently scientists have begun to embark on research aimed at understanding the role of gratitude in our wellbeing. The reported benefits from practicing or expressing gratitude are astounding as participants showed:
After reading this list, who wouldn’t want improvement in all of those areas?
So, how do we work towards being more grateful?
Mindfulness again plays a role – it offers us a way to pay attention to the seemingly small moments and encounters that we can find joy in, and thus be grateful for. From a smile from a cashier when we are having a tough day, to the blue skies after a long period of rain, there are infinite examples of things, people and experiences to be grateful for. It’s all in how you pay attention to them.
Here are a few ideas to get you started in your practice of gratitude:
Science is proving the effects of gratitude last long beyond the thought or words themselves. I encourage you to give yourself the gift of gratitude. You are enough!
Check out this book about how gratitude increases your happiness here:
Learn more about the research being conducted into gratitude here: