For many people, gratitude is not an automatic state of mind, but studies have repeated shown that an increase in gratitude has a positive effect on mental wellbeing. Cultivating gratitude means intentionally being grateful for the moments or people or things in your life. This may be found in the unexpected moments in life and challenging yourself to look for gratitude in the midst of darker times.
In choosing to continually find gratitude, the effects of joy, contentment, forgiveness, peace, plus more, will begin to be unwrapped.
Tips to Cultivate Gratitude:
1. Gratitude is a choice. It must be made in every circumstance not just when the going is good. When you find you can find reasons to be grateful in even the worst moments, you will begin to have a much clearer perspective.
2. Each day is a gift. Despite this sounding ridiculously cheesy, it is in fact true. Simply being able to be thankful that you have woken up this morning, especially on bad mental health days, is a reminder of the reasons to be grateful. Moreover, everything is a gift! Cultivating a grateful attitude means viewing everything as gifts. Again, this continual thankfulness begins to mould and change your perspective.
3. Our hearts and mind have limited space. When we continually cultivate discontentment, worry and fear we leave little space for gratitude, joy and peace. The opposite then is also true! Maintaining a practise of gratitude result in less space for those negative emotions to gain a foot hold in your life.
4.Perfection is no longer the goal. Thankfulness for current situations including, children, our homes, our spouses, jobs etc has a way of reducing the want for the perfect life! We always have room to grow but gratitude helps ground us in the reality which we already have. Discontentment in marriages, families and workplaces can be dispelled when contentment is actualised through gratitude.
5. Mistakes are no longer the end of the world. When reflecting back on past or present mistakes, gratitude can help make moving on from these much easier. Gratitude looks to what we can learn from these mistakes, and the ways In which we have grown and matured through these mistakes.
6. It is a habit. Just like any other habit, it needs to be done repeatedly in order for it to become the norm. There will be times when this seems so hard, but push through and persevere. Set a time each day to reflect or every time the phone rings think of something. It doesn’t always have to be large things, rather, it’s about cultivating the habit, changing your mindset and gaining consistency.
7.Gratitude can then lead. Once you have gained a habit of gratitude, patterns may begin to emerge of the types of things you are grateful for. Whether that’s duvet snuggles with the kids, your favourite cup of coffee or your back garden, it is then possible to ensure they become a fixed part of your week. Gratitude can help you see what values you hold and can help prioritise what is important for you.
“When we focus on our gratitude the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.” – Kristen Armstrong
So, my challenge to you this week is to try and cultivate an attitude of gratitude. To become intentional about carving out time to see what it is that your thankful for! Let me know how you get on!
Talk soon, A x