Gratitude. The word is thrown around a lot. We all know a little about it and we know we should be practising it, but what is it?
We chat to Adam Jelic, MiGoals Co-Founder - about gratitude and and how to practise it regularly.
He put together this short course to provide an introduction and explanation of what gratitude is, why it’s important, how to practice it and why it isn’t just for hippie yogis.
You'll see - You’ve got sooooo much to be grateful for when you get down to it!
Gratitude by dictionary definition is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. We like to think of it is observing the things around you and making a conscious effort to appreciate them. Sometimes gratitude comes to us naturally, for example when your best friend helps you move house – you may instantly feel grateful that they have taken time out of their day to help you. These examples, while still great, are more sporadic and aren’t practised regularly. When we make a conscious effort to practice gratitude we look at the little things that we may take for granted, and appreciate them. This can make the difference between feeling helpless during sh#$ty day and turning a predetermined bad day into a rather lovely one. Once you are open to embracing the good around you – you won’t be able to stop.
Think about when you wake up – be grateful that you were able to sleep, be thankful for your comfy pillows and cosy duvet, be proud of the partner sleeping next to you and if you’re really struggling be grateful that you woke up that morning at all. While this may not be your exact gratefulness checklist – think about what good has come to you upon arising for the day.
Your sister who always knows what to say
The sunshine outside that you will be able to enjoy after work
Legs that let you walk and run and dance
The leftovers mum left you for lunch
The fact that you landed the job interview
Healthy air to breathe
The roof over your head
Your favourite song playing
The holiday you just went on
Access to food and water
The delicious burger you just demolished
A brain that allows you to think and function and imagine
The way your cat brushes up against you
The movie that makes you laugh
The sleep in you had yesterday
Kindness of a stranger
The new dress that makes you feel beautiful
See – instead of looking at what others have – look at how lucky you are! For all you know, someone could be wishing they should be so fortunate.
We personally think gratitude is important as it can provide a bridge over a river of negativity when times get tough. We suggest writing down everything you are grateful for when you are feeling hopeless or at a roadblock. It may help you look at things from a different perspective.
We all have days where we feel like the world is being especially tough on us. That’s a normal part of being a human. However, it is how we deal with it that will determine our routine for next time we feel that way. Downward spirals can happen quicker than you could ever expect. Get into the practice of gratitude both when you are feeling low as well as when you are feeling really good. Don’t think of it as a punishment, chore or something you must tick off your to-do list. Get in the practice of doing it because of how it makes you feel – or what it opens your eyes to. If you are really struggling – start with taking five minutes out of your week to take part. Build up once you become more comfortable with the idea.
A challenge for you. Spend the next week writing down what you are grateful for every day. If you are looking for a tool – check out our Gratitude Journal. See how it makes you feel and see how it changes your attitude to what’s in front of you. A further challenge – tell someone you love that you are grateful for them and why. Because the only better thing than practising gratitude is sharing it with others.
The Gratitude Journal has been created to help you find appreciation and balance within your life. Gratitude is such a simple and powerful emotion, one that can make your life better in so many ways. Remember, It’s always difficult to feel depressed or sorry for yourself when you are feeling grateful.
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