3 Benefits For Practicing Gratitude
If you want to feel happier, more content and full of life – ‘gratitude’ will get you there.
Being ‘grateful’ is about much more than just saying ‘thank you’ – it’s really about not taking things or people for granted and realising a sense of appreciation and thankfulness for everything in your life, however large or small. It is believed that those who are ‘grateful’ tend to be happier, healthier and feel more fulfilled…. And isn’t this what we all want to feel!
Over the past 6 years my life has changed dramatically. Yes, I’ve grown older and I hope wiser, but I have also made some conscious choices to adopt a new way of living. I’m also not going to sit here and tell you it is all roses and I have cracked the code to life, because I know for me, that would be boring!
There was a time in my life where I crumbled – I had no self-worth; no self-belief and I was engaging in extremely self-destructive behaviours. I was existing within my body, feeling very sick, dangerously underweight and depressed, faking my way through each day. I felt I had let everyone around me down and incredibly alone. Every essence of me was screaming for change – I was out of control.
As I spiralled towards rock bottom, I was very lucky to have an incredibly supportive family who empowered me to make the choice to change. It was here that I started my own self-rediscovery journey as I spent 6 months apart of a therapy centre.
At the time, I still found it difficult to find hope or to be grateful for anything. I was standing in the deep puddles of the storm I had created and everything I had believed in had disappeared. Although I knew this was time for a new beginning, the journey ahead seemed long and painful.
The meta-context that was informing me of who I believed myself to be and what I was capable of, was totally lost in my false self or ego. This side of me was leading me to situations of conflict and it was an incredibly destructive part of my mind…it wanted to be the most important part of me and I let it take control. I was stuck, finding it difficult to let go of the beliefs I held as it was these very beliefs that I was using to reaffirm my past experience and justify how I was living my life.
I had to face up to the shadow of myself – the side of me containing all the parts of myself that I didn’t want to admit to having. After all, I had spent the past few years doing anything I possibly could to avoid this part of me. I avoided being present. I was in a place of crisis, abandonment and totally hopeless. Nevertheless, I did dig deep and that is why I am sat here today empowering women to do the same.
There were many practices that I started (and never completed) but there are a few incredibly powerful ones that have stuck with me and I continue to teach to my clients.
Gratitude being the first.
As I began to feel gratitude towards where I was and what I had in life, the most important thing began to shine through me – happiness. I began to know who I was and what truly mattered to me and it was only a matter of weeks before I felt the spark light up inside me again.
When I personally switched on my ‘gratitude’, positive things started to happen. It’s as if the universe said: ‘wahey, you’re happy with what you’ve got, so let’s give you more’. Of course it wasn’t just this, crucially it has taught and enabled me to live in the present and experience my life for me, as I am and not through my ego. I was out of my bubble and I no longer took things for granted.
Living your days complaining until the next is going to leave constant dissatisfaction…when we are always on the run, we miss the beauty that’s all around us – we take things for granted and don’t take time to appreciate what we have.
So, ’Gratitude’ is a health choice and I want to show you how you can put it into play, leaving you feeling consciously ‘grateful’, often much happier and more optimistic.
I have personally identified the following key three points I’ve experienced as beneficial attributes through my continuing journey to ‘gratitude’:
- Enhances Relationships
Saying ‘thank you’ and the impact it has was something most of us got taught as a child. Perhaps its true meaning often gets taken for granted but this childhood lesson is extremely powerful. It is so important to be grateful for and to people for their kindness; love, affection, generosity, skills and their contribution to a positive life – and more so to ensure you make them aware just how grateful you are. We have taken (and I know I certainly have) people who have a positive impact on us for granted without being aware of it. I have been in the position when it’s difficult to grasp and quantify this, especially when life feels tough, stressful and all consuming.
2. Improves your mind and focus
When you feel ‘grateful’ you begin to appreciate and focus on what is good and positive in your life. It’s not a magic pill to ‘rid’ the negatives, rather a shift in mindset and a power to feel more resilient. It’s scientifically proven that ‘gratitude’ boosts our optimism, confidence and shows us more opportunities. ‘Gratitude’ is the very best antidote for pain – and it is a choice! It is not always easy to find things to be grateful for, especially when we want to stay in our lonely space and be sad and keep within the addictive negative state because it just feels somewhat safer. However, there can be positive movement from this place, when you feel ’enough is enough’ you have a choice to change that up and switch your focus positively.
3. You become more solution based
When we feel negative, it feels easier to focus on the problem, it feels familiar and any feeling is better than none…so we think. When you begin to be ‘present’ and understand where you are at, what is around you and why you are there, your brain becomes wired to focus on being proactive to move forward rather than standing still, complaining. You can begin to make changes as you adopt a ‘best outcomes’ mindset.
So as you can see first hand, this works and if you would like to get back in the flow with the Universal Life Force – ‘gratitude’ is what you nurture and require! Be aware that the brain cannot focus on both a ‘positive’ and a ‘negative’ at the same time.
Now I know only too well that it is not easy to alter existing mindsets and start anew, it is challenging but I will promise you that by practising ‘gratitude’ you will adopt it like you would a new basis exercise – naturally it takes a while to get into the swing of it and see the results and reap the benefits, but it does pay off and is so worth it!
The first step is to acknowledge all the things you are grateful for, but more importantly it’s about cultivating the feeling of ‘gratitude’… because when we feel, we fire up the signals and energy we give out. So I need you to dig deep for your gratitude’s and to do this, I have put together this workbook for you! Click the link below to gain access!