Natalie talks us through gratitude and the positive impact it can have on our mental wellbeing.
We all get bogged down with the difficulties that life throws at us from time to time, especially with recent events. It can feel difficult to focus on anything positive and instead we can become entrenched in negativity. This can stop us from achieving inner peace and can lead to developing limiting beliefs about ourselves or the world around us.
There is good news though. We can learn to notice when we are focusing on only the negative and turn that on it’s head. We can start to embody the attitude of gratitude. Research shows that when we shift our way of thinking towards being grateful for what we do have then we can feel up to 25% more content with our lives.
This isn’t to say that you’re bad if you cant find anything to feel grateful about some days ( we are all allowed a pity-party from time to time!). As humans we are hardwired to dwell on the bad. Our brains are more strongly impacted by negative events so we have a negative bias and therefore move further away from gratitude. To turn an attitude of gratitude into a sustainable habit, your feelings of gratitude must be independent of your circumstances. So even on the days when it feels like nothing is going right, try to find the silver lining and give thanks for what is working.
An attitude of gratitude forces you to get outside of your problems and look at the bigger picture. In turn, you are better able to bounce forward when life’s challenges arise and you can further build your resilience.
4 simple tips to help you on your way
Keep a gratitude journal for 30 days.
Write at least three things each day that you are grateful for. Start simply, Let go of the big things and focus on the small things. Focus on what you do have rather than what you don’t. A home, a stranger that smiled, a friend, the sunshine, a pet, a cup of tea that tasted great, your bed, how strong you are. See how your thoughts grow.
Talk about it.
Tell others what you’re grateful for. When you find yourself about to moan, try thinking about the silver lining instead. Make it a habit to talk about what you’re grateful for. It will reinforce your feelings.
Take a break a few times a day. Focus on the spirit of thankfulness. Who are you thankful for? Bring that person to mind. Imagine your life surrounded by things and people to be thankful for.
Find that person who helped you out from your past and thank them. Write a personal note and tell someone what they mean to you, be grateful for those present and past who have been there.
I love this quote from Melodie Beattie;
‘’Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial in to acceptance, chaos into order and confusion into clarity. ‘’
I hope you have fun with it and enjoy.