GRATITUDE is our capacity to focus on WHAT IS rather than on what is not. This MINDSET enables calm, grounded, intentional ACTION -rather than scattered, wobbled and despaired.
However you choose to practice gratitude, you can transform your daily experience (and your life!) by simply pausing and taking an extra second to hold on to that grateful thought, and let it sink in.
Practicing gratitude is a great way to infuse positivity, hope and perspective into your life.
There is always something to be grateful for; and once we tune into the gratitude mindset, the greatness and fullness of life, resources, allies and opportunities become visible.
Gratitude and wellness
Gratitude can have a significant impact on our mindset, our physical bodies and ultimately our overall well being. Studies show that gratitude increases our resiliency making us better able to cope with the changes around us, improves sleep, increases feelings of happiness, decreases anxiety and can even decrease blood pressure.
Making the choice to be grateful
Taking a posture of gratitude during a challenging time in life can prove a powerful choice. It’s almost impossible to dwell on hardships and struggles surrounding you when you are focusing on the good things you are thankful for. These two opposites can’t occupy your mind at the same time.
I acknowledge and in no way want to diminish the many emotions that can be associated with challenging times in life.
It’s natural to feel upset, fearful, mad, confused and frustrated when we go through something challenging. Our bodies are hardwired to feel these emotions.
The more we think a certain way, the more naturally that way of thinking comes to us. Every time we have a negative thought, it reinforces itself. The good news is the same is true for positive thoughts.
Choosing the positive
So, while fear and negative emotions are what so often come naturally and stick, they don’t have to stay. What you choose to look at and focus on will perpetuate in your life. The more you practice mental fitness, the more it is reinforced. As you choose to focus on gratitude you may begin to find yourself operating out of that mindset more naturally.
Giving thanks is a choice. This does take practice and intentionality, and you will find that the posture of gratitude has a ripple effect throughout your life. When we focus on the good and give thanks for what you have, it seems to blur and put into perspective the bad. It turns what we have into enough and allows us to acknowledge, celebrate and embrace the good.
More ideas for practicing gratitude
We can practice gratitude in lots of ways, such as writing a thank you card, through prayer, reading, documenting in a gratitude journal or jotting things on little post-its.
Some people like to start or finish their days with a healthy habit of listing three new things they are thankful for that day. A favorite to start or enhance a family gratitude practice, is creating a gratitude jar, filling it with little reminders of things you are thankful for; then, when a family member is feeling down s/he can pick a note from the jar to infuse a little cheer and warmth into your day.
However you choose to practice gratitude, we encourage you to simply pause and take an extra second to hold on to that grateful thought and let it sink in. It will transform your experience.
And as we always say in WAW: "how you live your day is how you live your life"!