Gratitude is the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.
There’s so many things I’m grateful for, a few standouts include:
- My health
- My loved ones
- The ability to desgin the life I want for myself
- The freedom I have to do what I want, when I want to do it
- Doing meaningful work that makes me feel fulfilled
- Having healthy internal dialogue
- Knowing what makes me happy
- Having tools / techniques to help me manage and cope with stress
- Believing that the choice is always mine no matter what
- Trusting that every choice I make is purposeful
- Understanding that the happiness of my life depends on the quality of my thoughts
The very last point is important. I choose to view life from a positive lens which determines how I think, feel and behave. I’m fully aware that the world isn’t all roses, but, I choose optimism because optimism serves me well.
I acknowledge my priviledges and I’m empathetic with those who haven’t been afforded the same or similar circumstances and opportunities as me. Because of this, I never want to find myself take things for granted. Since doing my ZoD Daily Grateful’s challenge I have been more deliberate in reminding myself of all that I’m grateful for.
After meditating in the mornings, I journal, and at the end of each entry I express my gratitude and state exactly why I’m grateful. Doing so, sets the tone for my day, I’m immediately thankful and feel positive.
These past 7 months have been amazing. I have eliminated stress and have been intentional with prioritising my peace and expressing my gratitude. I’ve appreciated more than ever before that waking up is actually a big deal and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Knowing and understanding what is going on in and around you is essential, you can acheive this by firstly paying attention to how you think and feel; and then reflect on what you have discovered. This brings clarity and the more clear you become, the better able you are to make decisions.
So why is gratitude important?
Gratitude has a strong association with positive emotions and good experiences; when we are grateful we feel happy. When we are grateful we activate neurochemicals in the brain such as dopamine which is associated with pleasure, serotonin which regulates our mood and oxytocin, a hormone that makes us feel genorous and induces feelings of connectedness.
Gratitude increases your self-esteem, you are more hopeful for the future and being grateful helps you feel less negative feelings overall.
Practicing gratitude has positive effects on physical health too! It’s been found that people who express gratitude, are more likely to engage in actvities that promote positive physical well-being such as eating a healthy diet and doing physical activity. And this can help to improve your sleep and boost your immune system.
How to Gratitude
- Write down what your grateful for each day
- Look through your photos and remind yourself of your happy memories
- Think about the goals you have acheived
- Reflect on a moment in your day that made you smile
- Be mindful and pay attention to your surroundings
- Think about your loved ones
- Do a loving kindness meditation
- Randomly message someone who has helped you in the past
- Think about all the things that have gone right for you today
- Wake up and spend a moment being grateful that you did indeed wake up
Gratitude is a hack to happiness. As soon as I think about what I am grateful for, I instantly feel a sense of appreciation, joy and privilege. I’m here living a life that I enjoy and have the freedom to make my own choices. My basic needs are met and I feel no threat against them. Luckily for me, everything beyond my basic needs are most definitely a luxury and that alone means I’m in a better position than a large proportion of the world. And for that I will be forever grateful.
Hopefully this post gave you a little food for thought, maybe it encouraged you to pause and think about the life that you live. I hope it inspired you to try one of the ‘how to gratitude’ tips. I would love to know if you do anything in particular to express your gratitude.
Stay grateful 🙂