(not when the kids have grown up….. you’ve moved house….got a new car….lost weight…..)
Do you find you are always searching for happiness? Never quite content with your ‘lot’? Wishing you could move house, willing the kids to grow up, the car to be bigger and better? Perhaps comparing yourself and your life to others?
There is nothing wrong with aspiring for greater things in life but if you spend most of your time wishing for what you don’t have or what you haven’t achieved yet then life is simply passing you by and you may be caught up in a negative mind-set of dissatisfaction or frustration.
Introducing gratitude into our lives helps us to become aware of the positive things and people we have in our lives RIGHT NOW. Mindfulness helps us to have greater awareness of ourselves, our lifestyles, relationships and surroundings. It helps to give a renewed sense of gratitude and appreciation for what we have in our lives. Tomorrow and yesterday are no more than a thought.
Gratitude has a number of physical health benefits as well. Research suggests that individuals who are grateful in their daily lives actually report fewer stress-related health symptoms, including headaches, gastrointestinal (stomach) issues, chest pain, muscle aches, and appetite problems. It can be very effective for insomnia and reducing depression.
An attitude of gratitude, not only reframes our perspective, it helps us to overcome repetitive negative thinking.
How to practise Gratitude Therapy in your life:
- Take a pause to think about what you have in your life right here and now. How is the ‘now’ for you? What activities, things or people in your life make you feel good?
- Ask yourself “what am I grateful for in my life today?”
- Can you give additional appreciation and gratitude to the areas you feel grateful for? Close your eyes for a moment to focus on the people or things that make you feel really good in your life. Notice what body sensations you feel, what thoughts are in your mind and what feelings you are experiencing.
- Each time you go to bed each night, spend a few moments thinking about three things or people in your life that you are grateful for.
- Spend a few moments thinking about each thing or person and hold onto these positive feelings and emotions as you drift off into a pleasant and relaxing sleep. You will absorb those positive emotions, thoughts and feelings subconsciously. Your body will produce endorphins and create a feeling of wellbeing and positivity. It can improve sleep patterns and helps you to focus on the positive rather than worries or a busy mind.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal – Just the simple act of writing down our gratitude thoughts can reinforce our feelings, help us progress toward healthier goals and provide more clarity to the positive things happening in our lives.
Mandy, our Mindfulness Coach includes Gratitude therapy as part of her six week 1-1 mindfulness course here at the clinic, so contact our friendly reception team if you want to benefit from introducing gratitude into your life.