The Art of Gratitude

Gratitude is a very powerful emotion, it can be life changing when you proactively incorporate it into your everyday life.

“When you focus on the good, the good gets better” – Abraham Hicks

Abraham Hicks is one of my favourite go to spiritual teachers, they lift me up and fill me with nuggets of wisdom.

Gratitude is the practice of feeling appreciation for the good and the not so good things, for the things that are going well, the things that are making you happy as well as all the things you naturally take for granted in your life and the things that are, in that moment, down right awful.

There is always something to be grateful for and the quicker we can see it, the quicker we can move out of a negative space and into the light again.

Gratitude has the power to reduce the following negative emotions:

- Anger - Envy - Resentment

- Depression - Frustration - Regret

- Stress - Anxiety - Guilt

It can even reduce aches and pains in the body.

On the flip side, gratitude can actually increase the following positive emotions:

- Positivity - Happiness - Patience

- Sensitivity & Empathy - Appreciation - Self esteem

- Energy & Vitality - Inspiration - Respect

You will find that you sleep better, your health will become better, you can be more sociable and feel more comfortable in social settings and you’ll be able to see the positive in negative situations (this last one is a real game changer).

What is there not to love about gratitude!!

It is like a muscle, you have to work at it to make it stronger, just like meditation or going to the gym. The more you use gratitude the easier it becomes to utilise it.

The more you focus on the good, the more good things will show up in your life and the bad ones will fade away. You just need to change your point of focus.

If you are reading this, thinking that you don’t have anything to be grateful for, think again my friend. Take a look at my personal gratitude list from today, see if any of it rings true for you too.

It is very easy for us to sink into a state of comparisonitis, comparing what we don't have, what we want with others who seemingly have everything we want. However, instead of feeling that you are lacking lots of things compared to other people, it's possible to alter your thinking, perspective and feelings slightly to appreciate everything you do already have in your life, no matter how big or small.

When I’m in a bad mood, feeling ungrateful or feeling a sense of lack and struggling to find things to feel grateful for, I find it useful to imagine what my life would be like without certain things in my life.

For example, my sight. I imagine how different my life would be without being able to see a beautiful blue sky and sunset, or spring time flowers in bloom, – there is so much gratitude right there!

Access to clean water. Imagine having to walk 5 or 10 miles to get clean water and then carrying litres and litres of water back home! In the UK we have drinking water coming directly into our homes via the taps, talk about modern day convenience!! – there is a lot of gratitude there too, if you look at it the right way and don’t take it for granted!

I love having a smartphone and access to the internet, it makes it very easy to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, doing research, being inspired by role models online etc. Connecting to like minded souls dotted around the globe.

Imagine not having a home, a roof over your head, or electricity or a fridge in the summer! Feel the gratitude for all the things that are so common place that it is easy to take for granted.

There are lots of different ways you can incorporate gratitude into your everyday life.

· Start a gratitude jar and each day write down 3 things (or more) that you are grateful for that day. This is lovely because you can look back at it on new years eve and feel even more immense gratitude because reading back you will remember all these lovely things.

· A gratitude list, try listing out between 5 – 20 things that you are grateful for in different aspects of your home or life e.g. kitchen/ garden/ bedroom/ hobbies/ work/ family. Focus on one area at a time and really feel into the love you have for it.

· Write a thank you note to someone/ something in your life

· Start a gratitude journal, spend a few minutes each day writing about what you are grateful for & the good things that happened in the last 24 hours.

· Spend time with your favourite people, the friends and family who make you smile, laugh and feel happy. Be grateful you have them in your life.

· Spend time appreciating what you already have in your life.

· Say thank you!!! To your partner or friend, someone at work, a stranger, the person in the café who served you with a smile. Thank everyone, even yourself!

Here is my gratitude list for today, a regular Saturday in December:

- some quiet alone time

- actually going to the post office instead of putting a stamp on the envelope (it would have been the wrong postage and not arrived!)

- being 1st in the queue at the post office and being in & out super quick

- having time to meditate

- staying warm and cosy with the woodburner

- finding out the breed of our rescue puppy

- seeing a bit of winter sunshine

- having warm, comfy and cosy clothes

- alone time to wrap up the xmas pressies

- having my little family to look after me when I don't feel well

- bumping into friends

- reading a great book

- doing 2 amazing online courses and actually having some time to dedicate to them.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post, i'd love to hear from you - what are you grateful for?

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