It is all too easy to get distracted by the things in life that are not quite as we would like them to be but, when you take time each day to reflect on what is great, you start to see a shift in how you feel.
Taking time to appreciate what we have rather than spending time feeling unhappy about what we don’t have is time well spent. Time spent expressing gratitude and appreciation can help move us towards feelings of happiness and joy which set off a whole chemical reaction in the body leading us to feelings of wellbeing and peacefulness.
Spending a few minutes each day capturing 3 things you are grateful for is enough to start to trigger those wellbeing hormones and lift your mood. Doing it before you go to sleep is an ideal time as it allows you to end the day in a positive mindset which may help you sleep more peacefully.
If you love a bit of stationary like I do, then use it as an opportunity to invest in a lovely notebook or a gratitude journal and keep it by your bed or somewhere you will see it regularly to remind you to build that gratitude habit. If photos are your thing then take pictures during the day of what brought a smile to you face then sit somewhere peaceful and spend a few moments looking at them and bring those feelings back into your mind.
There are plenty of studies out there that show how having a regular gratitude practice can lead to better health, less stress and a more optimistic outlook on life.
They don’t have to be big things either, someone making you a cup of tea or maybe noticing a beautiful flower on a walk you do every day, if you look there are always many things around which are worthy of some appreciation.
Its not to say you should ignore those feelings of sadness but it’s all about balance. Even on the worst days, something will happen that has the potential to lift your mood if you stay aware of what is happening around you and don’t attach all your time and energy on the negative thoughts. It may be a friend supporting you when you are feeling overwhelmed or a stranger sharing a smile when you catch each other’s gaze. Often it will be something very simple that can create a real feeling of joy.
You can also share your gratitude with others. Think about how you feel when someone gives you a compliment. You can create that feeling for other people. So next time someone does something lovely for you maybe think about saying thank you and express what it means to you. Maybe that will make it into their list of things to be grateful for in the day. How amazing to think that we can all start to create a chain reaction of positivity.
So, the invitation is for you to start to capture those moments you are grateful for in your day. Capture them every day to build the habit. Look back on them and notice how they make you feel. Notice what thoughts come up, notice any feelings or sensations in your body and then sit with those feelings, take a few deep breaths and start to notice how life is generally not that bad, even if some days you may feel the world is against you there will be many moments to be grateful for too. .