The concept of gratitude is increasingly becoming part of psychology research.
This new focus really displays the importance of gratitude and is pushing it out of the woo woo or ‘motivational’ fields into real life scientifically proven health care.
WHAT IS GRATITUDE?
Gratitude is really an emotion, or more importantly a positive emotion.
And did you know memories can only be formed when emotion is present? The stronger the emotion, the more prevalent the memory. I bet you can think of some right now.
Where ‘thank you’ can be communicated on a surface level, gratitude is a deeper level of appreciation and the feeling or memory or something you are grateful for will stay around much longer.
Think about the tangible objects that you have purchased or been gifted over the years, it is unlikely that you remember them all.
Think now to a gift or gesture that was completely unexpected and came from a place of love and thoughtfulness – most would feel a swell of gratitude and possibly other emotions – and a memory is formed.
HOW DOES GRATITUDE WORK?
Simply put, being grateful works by redirecting our thoughts to the good, taking our focus away from the bad.
There is positive and negative in most things, it is part of the wonderful journey of life.
Mindfully and purposely focusing our thoughts towards what we do have, not what we don’t or what is going well, verses what isn’t – is instrumental in changing the way we feel.
It does take some effort to get going, however, the pay off is more than worth it.
Gratitude works to refocus your energy and can help to turn that frown upside down.
None of us know how much time we have here. What a waste to spend too many days dreaming of tomorrow. What a waste to spend too many days of our given time complaining that things aren’t perfect!
The fact is that we live in the richest, safest, most abundant time in human history – and it has created somewhat of an expectation of entitlement among us.
Yes we have current challenges – but I’d rather our challenges than take on the ones of our former generations, or even other countries.
Anxiety and depression are the highest they have ever been – why is that happening in our richest, most abundant times in undoubtedly one of the world’s premier locations to live?
A lack of gratitude and a loss of perspective are key contributors to these devastating statistics.
WHY IS GRATITUDE SO IMPORTANT?
Think back to our grandparents or great-grandparents.
Those generations experienced true hardship and as a result had to build grit, determination and resilience.
Who else has grandparents that were unbreakable bad asses? Am I right?
That generation had a unique blend of kindness and love mixed with a memorable dose of stubbornness and stance of taking absolutely no s**t!!
They have already seen all sides of life: the happy and the sad, the good and the bad, the adversity and the triumph.
A shift in perspective is all it takes to find gratitude – and life is a lot happier when we are grateful.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE MUCH TO BE GRATEFUL FOR?
Search and you shall find!
Yes, we all have to deal with the daily annoying obstacles that come up but I think you’ll agree that once you have dealt with something significant, the smaller struggles become a non-event and much easier to brush aside and move through. Our perspective changes.
We’ve had it so good, for so long that our perspective of difficult times has become warped and unfortunately we find immeasurable un-happiness in the smallest of struggles or failures.
We are so busy in our lives today, that we forget to be mindful and grateful for everything we DO have.
How many of you feel truly grateful for your eyesight? The use of your limbs? Clean running water? Access to medical attention? The safety of the people that you love and who love you?
Not everyone has those things, and yet we just take them for granted.
Whilst I understand the world is challenging right now, and things are really hard for some – we can ALL still try to be kind, mindful and grateful for what we do have.
If I feel my mindset slipping……I always try to think ‘what am I taking for granted right now that I should in fact be grateful for?’ It snaps me out of my funk every time – it’s just a change of perspective.
TAKE CARE, STAY SAFE
Please bear in mind that these writings are ‘general’ and apply to the majority.
If however, you have experienced trauma, or are struggling to change your perspective and get in control of your emotions – I sincerely urge you to seek professional help to work through and release some of those blocked emotions. It ain’t weak to speak.
TASK OF THE DAY
Your task is today is to listen to this video and just feel.
I want you to take note of the thoughts that come to you throughout the exercise and just experience the overwhelming sensation that is gratitude.
You want the good news?
You can re-create these feelings absolutely ANYTIME you choose!