Research shows that among all emotions, the feeling of gratitude contributes most to our peace of mind and to our feelings of fulfillment and that gratitude accounts for absence of stress in human relations above any other emotion.
It’s very easy to focus on the negatives in life or the things we haven’t got; like not being able to afford those shoes, the fact that it has started to rain or an argument with a family member, the list is endless.
BUT you get what you focus on so focus on the many, many positives in life!!
Be grateful for the refreshing, hot shower you had before work, the fact that you remembered your umbrella, be grateful for your family!!
I was introduced to gratitude by my meditation teacher and became part of a “gratitude text group”. One day when I was feeling particularly sorry for myself I got a text message from one of the group saying ”today I’m grateful for the delicious meal that my sister made for me.” It reminded me how supportive my family and friends had been and that I too had a lot to be grateful for. It put a smile on my face and turned my day around.
Developing an attitude of gratitude will help you to retrain your mind to focus on the positive things in life rather than the negative things that cause us to feel stressed.
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has” – Epictetus
Start a gratitude journal and each and every day spend just a few minutes thinking about what you are grateful for. For the first week put as many things as possible on the list (at least 30), no matter how small.
From the second week onward commit to writing 10 things each day that you are grateful for. Do this at the same time every morning or night so that it becomes a habit. It might be difficult to think of 10 things a day but often the things that occur to us after the first 4 or 5 things that we write down are the important things that are easy to take for granted.
Don’t judge anything you write down!! Never look at the list and think that’s not big enough, good enough etc or that makes me sound selfish. It’s your list and I’m giving you permission to put anything you want on it, from being grateful that you’re having a good hair day or that you could afford that new handbag to being grateful for a meeting that went well or for the clean water you’re drinking.