WHAT IS GRATITUDE?
Gratitude is the simple act of noticing what is in your life and being thankful for it. It is one of the simplest, yet most powerful habits you can create, programmes your mind to see the good all around you and can transform how you experience your life
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Well what you focus on you see. You have at the front part of your brain a wonderful filter called the reticular activating system, or as I like to call it- your "doorman"
Your brain absorbs 23 MILLION pieces of information a SECOND! A SECOND! But us simple humans would explode if we had to dealt with that!
So your doorman listens to what you think about and filters the information just for you.
Ever wanted a new car and then see it everywhere? That's your doorman in action
So having a daily practice of gratitude conditions your mind to look for the good in everything around you. And when you see more of the good and less of the challenges, life starts to feel brighter, happier and more optimistic
It doesn't alter the fact that challenges still exist but gratitude will help you view them differently, see the solution quicker and take the positive learnings from it too
And the more good you see, the more it changes your beliefs about yourself, the world and about what is possible.
We model our beliefs about things based on what we are taught in childhood, what we experience and see in our early years and what we experience later in life
But beliefs can be changed. And when you start to see the world in a positive and happy light, you start to think in that way, feel that way and experience life in that way
The brain doesn't know the difference between real and imagined so by being thankful for what you have and visualising the life you'll have ion the future- you mind thinks its all happening now and releases all those feel good hormones. This raises your levels of happiness!
Life literally becomes what you focus on!
WHY DO WE STRUGGLE WITH IT?
Your brain is designed to keep you safe.
It's why we devote so much energy to our fears and focus our thoughts on those "WHAT IF....MOMENTS"
It's so much easier to notice what you don't have, what is going wrong and all the "problems".
So use this if you struggle to notice things to be grateful for by imagining how life would be without them.
For example " I am grateful for my warm bed" may not seem a BIG thing to have gratitude for but what would your life be like without it? Really feel the consequences of not having it. Where would you be living instead? How would your sleep be? How safe would you feel? And really imagine how that would feel. Suddenly a warm bed can really be something to be grateful for.
I'm grateful this morning for waking up- sound simple but imagine the alternative?
It also takes practice and requires a change. This isn't easy for many of us. But if you want something to change - something has to change!
THE BENEFITS OF DAILY GRATITUDE
It helps you focus more on what you have rather than striving for what you think you need
First thing in the morning starts your day right and you'll see the day in a much more positive light
It programmes you doorman to see more of the good so life starts to feel good.
It changes how you interact with those around you and you start to anticipate positive things in your life more than you expect the worst
And what you see and think, changes how you feel and behave. And how you behave is your experience of your life!
Life starts to become something to embrace and look forward to. You become happier and more optimistic
Ever wondered why that person always seems happy and lucky. They will have challenges to but I bet gratitude and being thankful is a regular habit for them
Can you see now why the simple act of being thankful can transform everything!
HOW TO CREATE A DAILY PRACTICE OF GRATITUDE
Make it the first thing you do on waking up- it transforms how you see the day
Write it down on paper rather than type on a device or just "think" it. The act of transferring thoughts through the mind, to the hand to the paper embeds it into the brain.
Really feel in your body how grateful you are. Visualise the benefits, see and feel your future life and what you have now
Or use the practice of imagining life without it if you struggle at first
Start with writing just 3 GOOD THINGS. You'll soon realise how many more there are and the pen will flow!
Use your list as a reminder if you feel challenged in the day
Notice 3 things to be grateful for just before you go to bed. Your mindset upon walking remembers the last things you thought about before your slept.
Here are just some examples to get you started.
IM GRATEFUL I'VE WOKEN UP
I'M GRATEFUL FOR THIS NEW DAY
I'M THANKFUL FOR MY HEALTH
I'M WARM AND DRY AND I'M THANKFUL
I HAVE FOOD IN MY FRIDGE
I HAVE CLEAN WATER
What else can you now add to your list?
Gratitude changes everything without changing anything. It turns the mundane into extraordinary.
Consistency is the key. It changes a practice into a daily habit and why wouldn't you want to see the positivity in your life every day