How to use gratitude for a positive impact on your wellbeing
Have you ever wondered how you can use gratitude for a positive impact on your wellbeing? You might have come across gratitude as a practice, it might be something that you do already.
Studies suggest that gratitude has not only a positive effect on our wellbeing, but a long lasting positive effect. Gratitude is simple and proven to support the way that we feel.
You might think that such as simple practice of gratitude having a positive impact on your mental health must be too good to be true? The simplicity of these practices makes you think, surely it can’t be that easy? Practices such as gratitude, breath-work, gentle movement, meditation. Surely supporting our wellbeing can’t be that simple?
Just because they are simple doesn’t mean that they are always easy.
Why bother with gratitude for your wellbeing?
In practicing gratitude regularly, what we are doing is noticing the things that we have and bringing those things into focus. We take time to notice and feel grateful for the things that we have in our life. What we can start to do is make that into a habit. It is a way of thinking, a thought pattern. We know thanks to research into neuroplasticity that our brains have the amazing capacity to change. We are not set in our ways and thoughts. We have the capacity to change. Gratitude is one way that we can cultivate a new way of thinking. Of focussing our attention on what we have.
In the Happy Healthy membership we meet every Monday morning for a meditation and mindset session. The first part of this is writing down 3 things that we are grateful for. I also run a free WhatsApp group where we share our gratitude – send me a message if you would like to join in.
When we look for things that we are grateful for on a regular basis, our mind starts to look for those things more often.
I like to think of it like a candle shining in a dark room. The flame illuminates the things around that point of focus. The flame is gratitude and that shines to help us to see more things that we are grateful for. And this spreads across our daily lives. We start to notice, and pick up on things in daily life. We start to see what we have rather than what we don’t have.
When we are in a mindset of always wanting things (and let’s face it we society encourages this mindset) then we are often dissatisfied. My theory is that a gratitude practice turns that around – instead of focusing on what we don’t have we focus on what we have. In that way we notice what is important. We become aware of what we need and don’t need. What we want.
Things become clearer and we start to feel a sense of enoughness. And that is how we start to feel a sense of peace and calm. When we realise all that we have, we start to practise that feeling of enoughness. And so gratitude affects the way that we feel and our sense of contentment.
We can let go of some of the striving and wanting. I am not saying that it is bad to want things, but a gratitude practice can give us some clarity about what it is that we actually want, what it is that we need, what we have and how that feels.
From just this simple practice of writing down 3 things that you are grateful for regularly.
I have been practising gratitude regularly now for over 3 years and I would love you to join me!