Want to improve your well-being? Studies have shown that there is a strong link between gratitude and well-being. Being grateful is an act of mindfulness. By giving thanks for something in your life right now you’re acknowledging the presence of this positive thing in your life at this current moment. And you’re not focusing on what you didn’t get or don’t have in your life.
When we’re grateful we are focusing on the positives, recognising benefits, which can lead one to be more optimistic in their outlook.
Gratitude is like a muscle – the more you train it, the stronger it becomes.
Here are some ideas to train your gratitude muscle
· Journal - Each morning or evening write down in a journal 3 things you are truly grateful for in that moment. Try this exercise for a week, 7 days in a row, or a fortnight and become aware of how this has made you feel throughout that time.
· Gratitude Jar - Have a gratitude jar on the kitchen counter top. Have slips of paper prepared beside it with a pen. Let it be a reminder to you and your family to pop down on a slip of paper something you’re grateful for. You can read out the slips of paper together at the end of the week/month.
· Gratitude Tree - This is a lovely activity to do with kids. Draw a tree with lots of branches.
Cut out pieces of paper in the shape of leaves, write or draw something you’re grateful for on the leaves and glue them to the branches of the tree. Children can have fun colouring the tree trunk and it’s surroundings.
· Letter - Write a letter of thanks to someone who you are grateful for. When you appreciate a good deed done by somebody or even just appreciating that they are in your life, let them know! Practice gratitude by sending them a letter to let them know.
· Meditation – Meditating on all the things you can be grateful for is a very uplifting practice. And it’s a good idea to really simplify this practice and reflect on all the things that we quite often take for granted; like the ability to breathe freely, having legs to walk with, eyes to see, ears to hear.
It's also important to note that it's not only about being grateful for just the good things in your life but also being grateful for everything in your life. This can seem odd when you're struggling or feeling there are bad things in your life. But sometimes these "bad" things are opportunities to learn and grow.
Being grateful can help you slow down, be more mindful and appreciate "the little things", which are in fact "the big things"!
To help you meditate on positives in your life that you enjoy right now try this Gratitude Meditation on my YouTube Channel.
Thank you for reading