Gratitude as a way of life

As children we are all taught to say thank you.  Like most healthy habits it seems it be an ongoing lesson.  As a mother I seem to spend a lot of time prompting this from my children.  Yet if I probe deeper it isn’t just that I’m trying to teach them manners, but I’m attempting to procure the feeling of gratitude. 

Gratitude has a profoundly positive effect on our lives.  It is difficult to feel depressed or sad when we are focusing on the positive things in our day.  Studies have shown keeping a daily gratitude journal exercised more, reported less ill health, slept better, were more optimistic and reached their goals.  A simple list in a note book at the end of the day of all the things unique to that day that made it special and we appreciated most.

 

What are some other ways we can make gratitude part of our daily life?

 

  • Tell someone you love them and how much you appreciate them
  • Notice the beauty in your surroundings- a beautiful view, an organised work space, a clean bed
  • Nurture your friendships, good friends are a gift to be looked after
  • Smile often
  • Include an act of kindness in your day, simple things that are easy to do and cost us very little time or resources.
  • Spend quality time with your kids or partner (no screens or phones!)
  • Prepare and cook a meal for people you love.
  • Compliment people more- family, friends, strangers…
  • Write a thank you card and send it to someone.
  • Give recognition when someone does a good job.
  • Use family meal times to share things in your day you’re grateful for or have enjoyed.

 

 

Ultimately gratitude comes from a place within us, when we stop and take notice of all the good things in our lives. The more we focus on the blessings we constantly receive the more we find our entire life improves.