Gratitude doesn't have to be saved up for the big events in life, it is something you can practice everyday. In fact, the more you begin to notice and be thankful for the small stuff, the more you are likely to begin to look out for things which bring you positivity. It's time to learn to dwell on the good.
Why should I practice Gratitude?
You've had a long week at work and you feel worn out and exhausted, it can be so easy to mark it down as a crappy week. It can often be a struggle to pinpoint any positive moments and it'd be easy to mark the whole thing down as a negative. Now imagine, at the end of each day thinking about three small things that made you smile. They could be tiny moments: seeing a pretty flower by the curb, the sound of birds singing or the warmth of the first sip of coffee as you sat at your desk ready to begin your work. These are all things we can be grateful for, the tiny stolen moments that triggered a smile or a spark of warmth during a difficult day. The more you notice these moments, the more you will begin to look out for them. To make a note of them each time they happen. The more you write them down, the more you will begin to realise that the week wasn't so bad at all, there was plenty to be thankful for.
What are the benefits?
Where to begin? The benefits are never-ending. A more positive outlook on life, a new sense of excitement for the little things, better sleep, a more compassionate nature, better moods, stronger immune systems! Practising gratitude also helps in becoming more present, to be more aware of surroundings and events happening in that moment. Rather than just drinking a cup of tea, you will start to anticipate and appreciate the magic of having the moment to yourself to drink the delicious warm mug of your favourite drink as you write your to do list at the beginning of the day. Remember to spend some time reflecting on why each moment gave you happiness, how it affected your mood and what it was about that exact moment in time that you are grateful for. Gratitude shifts the anticipation of negative outcomes to positive and creates a surge of feel good hormones including dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin.
How do I do it?
There are lots of different ways to practice Gratitude and we have compiled 9 of our favourite and most effective exercises to make it as easy as possible for you to get going in the Gratitude category of LSW Mind Cards. Each card gives a new way of collecting moments of gratitude for you to try out to ensure you find the exercises which work best for you.