|Gratitude can change everything
For this month’s blog I am going to piggyback on the theme of the annual holiday which our neighbours across the pond celebrate – “Thanksgiving”. And although this year I am sure that the celebrations looked very different, I feel people are more thankful than ever before. It was this quote; “I thought 2020 would be the year I got everything I wanted. Now I know 2020 is the year I appreciate everything I have”, that really drove this message home for me and ignited my inspiration for this month’s blog on;
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
What a rollercoaster 2020 has been, a year I am sure none of us will ever forget but despite everything that has happened, I think it has thought us all one thing – we must recognise and appreciate the little things in our life instead of focusing on the big things or the things that we don’t have. For me, 2020 gave me the opportunity to slow down and be grateful for everything good in my life. I did not focus on the things I was missing. I focused on what I had. That’s what gratitude does; it helps you stay focused on the positive, no matter what is happening in the world around you. When you focus on what’s good in your life, it becomes so much easier for you to find the motivation, joy, balance and fortitude you need to navigate life’s challenges and create the life you want to live.
What are the Benefits of Gratitude?
The Greater Good Science Centre offers a plethora of information on this subject. In a white paper titled, “The Science of Gratitude” (2018), they outline several benefits to gratitude;
|For an individual:
· increased happiness and positive mood
· more satisfaction with life
· less materialistic
· less likely to experience burnout
· better physical health
· better sleep
· less fatigue
· lower levels of cellular inflammation
· greater resiliency
· encourages the development of patience, humility, and wisdom
· increases prosocial behaviours
· strengthens relationships
· may help employees’ effectiveness
· may increase job satisfaction
When you are going through challenging or uncertain times, that is when practising gratitude matters more than ever! It is important to focus on joy and gratitude because when you look for the positive and cultivate deep appreciation for everything that’s good in your life then guess what? You will attract more positive opportunities and people into your life. This is so important to remember now, as you prepare to say “goodbye” to 2020 and hello to the exciting possibilities of the New Year ahead, whatever it may bring. Now is the time to focus on the positive and get clear about the kind of life you want to experience in 2021, so you can start pulling together the resources and support you need to make your vision a reality.
Regardless of who you are, or the circumstances of your life, the benefits of gratitude are undeniable. So why not give it a go and instead of making New Years Resolutions, why not try being more grateful and reap what you sow. Here are some ideas of how you can incorporate more gratitude into your life;
- Journal about things, people, or situations for which you are grateful.
- Think about someone for whom you are grateful.
- Write a gratitude letter to someone for whom you are thankful.
- Meditate on gratitude(present moment awareness).
- Do the “Count Your Blessings” exercise (at the end of the day, write down three things for which you were grateful)
- Practice saying “thank you” in a real and meaningful way. Be specific.
- Write thank you notes.
- Recall a negative event. Doing this helps you appreciate your current situation.
- Be mindful of your five senses. How does each enhance your life?
- Create visual reminders to practice gratitude. Sticky notes, notifications, and people are great for this.
- Focus on the good that others have done on your behalf.
- Actions lead to gratitude. Smile, say thank you, and write gratitude letters.
- Be grateful gazer. Be on the lookout for opportunities to feel grateful.
- Give something up. Sometimes it’s a good idea to give something up so that we can increase our appreciation of it.
- Think about what your life would be like if a specific positive event wouldn’t have happened. Write all the decisions and events that would have been different in your life.
- Remember a difficult event or scenario with someone and write a thank you letter to that person thanking them for what they taught you as a result.
Here’s to a positive 2021 filled with gratitude & infinite abundance!
|If you are feeling down for long periods of time over the next few weeks or feel like you are stuck in a rut that you just cannot get out of, it is worth speaking to someone about how you are feeling. Reach out, do not suffer alone & remember…
“It’s Okay not to be Okay & It’s absolutely Okay to ask for help!”
The article is written by Leanne, Newly Qualified Counsellor at The DMC Clinic. If you would like to discuss how any of the topics mentioned above are impacting your mental health, please contact The DMC Clinic to arrange an appointment.