Nothing shines through the clouds quite a like Gratitude!
Wow that’s SO true! It doesn’t take long to find glimmers of hope out of what first may seem like a less than perfect day!
We do lots of great activities based around gratitude in my Wellbeing Retreats and in my new Wellbeing Workshops as the effects are so far reaching on the mind and body.
I’ve summed up my top reasons we should all bring a little gratitude into our lives so read on:
1.Gratitude actually has health benefits
Gratitude can have positive effect on your health. Positive emotions like gratitude, hope and happiness release endorphins into the body. Endorphins have been shown to improve the body’s immune system by dilating blood vessels and slowing the heart rate.
2. Gratitude makes you happy
It’s impossible to think negative thoughts like fear and anger when you’re being grateful. This extra surge of positivity softens the person’s facial muscles, changes their posture and subsequently the positive vibes a person is emitting. These changes become a magnet for other positive people, upbeat events and the positivity is attracted to you and snowballs.
3. Gratitude helps keep you in the here and now.
It’s a key tool in the art of mindfulness. It helps to slow down your racing thoughts. To remember life is a journey not a destination. Worrying about what might be doesn’t actually change the future. Feeling guilty or repentant about stuff can’t alter the past. Gratitude helps keep our minds in the present which is the ONLY place we make any changes.
4. Gratitude turns ordinary into extraordinary
Not all days can be extraordinary. The key is to take an ordinary day and make it extraordinary by paying great attention to the smaller detail. Use all your senses to find things to be grateful for. Don’t take the normal stuff for granted, we relish in ordinary when things are chaotic.
“Normal Day, let me be aware of the treasure you are
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face into the pillow, or stretch myself taut
Or raise my hands to the sky and want more than all the world, your return.”
Mary Jean Iron
5. Gratitude when things go pear shaped.
Saying a thank you when things work out exactly as you want is effortless. Saying thank you when the outcome wasn’t as you expected, when your feeling hurt or angry often needs much more work. Find ways to be grateful for the lessons learned, for new opportunities. The glitches could well be blessings in disguise.
6. Make Gratitude awesome.
In Neil Pasricha’s TED talk ‘Three As of Awesome’ he advises looking at the world through the eyes of a three year old. See cool patterns in brickwork. Smell and taste things like it was the for the first time. Hunt out fabulous shapes, textures, features of natural beauty and listen out for new and unusual sounds etc. Prepare to be amazed!
7. Make Gratitude a habit.
We need to practice feeling grateful to make it a habit. Write good stuff down so you’re not reliant on memory. Record precious moments. Keep a bedtime journal to document the evidence!
8. Gratitude helps draw in the good stuff to your life.
If we expect the best from life, if we’re always on the lookout for the good stuff then good things will come to us. MJ Ryan’s book ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ reminds us to live as if the universe were friendly, always expecting the best and always assuming that life is on your side.
Start by being willing to learn to become more grateful. Start by noticing the small stuff and work your way up!
Immerse yourself in 2 days of mindfulness, gratitude, great nutrition and exercise at one of our Retreats. We’re in Devon and Northumberland this year and we’re taking bookings now.
Contact me for details of my Gratitude Workshops!