Our outside world might be changing drastically at the moment, but it’s our inside world that guides us through these changes, with either difficulty or resilience.
How much time do you spend working on your inner strength? Do you take time out to do things that make you happy? Do you treat yourself kindly? Do you face each day with a positive mindset? The more we care about our inside world, the greater our outside world will become. A wonderful way of building your inner strength is through the practice of gratitude.
What is gratitude? Is it a habit, an attitude, an emotion, a personality trait or a coping response? Perhaps it’s all of these things. For me, it’s the way in which we view our world. It’s a choice to notice the positive things in life, instead of dwelling on the bad.
Why not start your day by thinking of one small thing you’re grateful for and then write it down.
What are the benefits of this habit?
- It keeps us present.
- Practising gratitude means we look for something good in every day. The more we look, the more we find. By being amazed at the beauty around us, we become more connected to the ordinary things in life and more accepting of life right now, as it is.
- It changes the pathways in our brains.
- Shifting our mindset from dwelling on negativity to one of always looking for the good means we start to form new pathways in the brain. This helps us move away from anxiety and depression. Our brains even retain the positive thoughts and experiences that we have and these act towards a positive buffer when negative occurrences happen in our everyday lives.
- In fact, regular practice activates the bliss centre of the brain due to the build-up of production of dopamine and serotonin. Bliss equals happiness and contentment.
- Relationships are strengthened.
- How did you feel the last time someone truly made you feel appreciated? It’s a wonderful feeling to know that we matter. This is the power of gratitude. When we show appreciation of others they will be inclined to respond in the same way.
- Gratitude and YOU
- As you adopt an attitude of gratitude, the more you will start to appreciate yourself. And let’s face it, we all battle with self-love at one time or another.
- I found my daily gratitude practice not only gave me a positive mental attitude, but it helped me to become more authentic. I was able to identify what my own unique strengths and talents are, something I’ve found difficult to pinpoint in the past. I also realised what I’m not and, instead of beating myself up about it, I became more accepting of myself.
What about when life gets you down? When the curve balls being thrown at you seem impossible to hit. STOP, breathe and remember that, just by focusing on one positive thing in your life and writing it down, you will start to change your thinking.
It is impossible to block out difficulties, but the goal is to be able to approach them with a different perspective. To choose a positive action, like gratitude, rather than feed negativity with your attention.
Changing your inside world will change your outside world. Choose gratitude to help fill your inside world with joy, happiness and contentment.
Ways to practise gratitude:
- Write in a gratitude journal. Think of one thing every day that you are grateful for and write it down. Think outside the box when you’re flexing your gratitude muscles.
- Say thank you and really mean it.
- Appreciate the people around you. Don’t judge them.
- Sending a note/letter of appreciation.
- Keep a gratitude jar.
- Show kindness.
Quieten your mind by taking some nice deep, controlled breaths and think of something you can be truly grateful for. It doesn’t need to be complicated or big, it can be as simple as taking time out with a nice cup of coffee. Feel how gratitude feels in your body. By anchoring your gratitude you will lift your spirits.
Words can also play a vital role in helping you to lift your vibration, think abundance rather than scarcity, blessings instead of burdens and happiness rather than depression. Your energy will stay in a much better flow when the words you use are positive.
Gratitude is a gift, a gift to appreciate the new day we have been given.