In Gratitude


what is gratitude and how it can help your mental health

Gratitude is one of the simplest ways that you can instill a positive mindset. To express gratitude for everything that happens to you, even when bad situations come up, allows you to change and grow mentally and emotionally.

Gratitude is the state of being grateful: thankfulness. What does this mean in terms of our lives?  Essentially this means that when we look at life as an opportunity to grow in love and learn about opening our hearts with love, we see the world from a place of healing and peace.  When we look at the world as a place of pain and suffering that is also what we see. Pain and suffering actually constrict our hearts and affects our physical health.

If you want to learn how to practice gratitude and the benefits of gratitude, then here are the best ways to learn how to be more grateful every single day.

Gratitude As A Way of Life

How many of us live our lives being grateful for the many blessings we have? How many times a day do we say ‘thank you’? When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ to yourself for creating this wondrous being that you are? By expressing gratitude towards ourselves, we increase positive emotions.

This may sound obvious, but one of the best ways to ensure that you feel more grateful is to express gratitude every day. Appreciate everything on a day to day basis. Of course, it makes sense to appreciate the big things, but it is much harder to feel grateful for the smaller things, those that you may not even notice. Try your best to apply gratitude to absolutely everything that you have in your life. Not only will this ensure that you are practicing gratitude but will also help you to stop living life in the fast lane.

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”

Henry Ward Beecher

What would your day look like if you lived your life as if everything was a gift to you?  How would you start the day if the first thing you did was to be thankful for the gift of life? 

Black Elk, a Native American visionary spoke of his habit of greeting each morning by stepping outside, letting his bare feet touch the wet grass literally reconnecting with the earth, and singing a prayer of gratitude for the day’s arrival.

Gratitude For The Negative

There are times in our lives when we have to go through something which is negative, or that is a challenge to us. You might not think that these are good, especially at the time, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be grateful for them. Grateful people are thankful for the challenge they have faced and how it has helped them to change and grow their positive emotions towards themselves and others. Using this ‘positive psychology’ method, is a great way that gratitude helps with emotional intelligence.

Gratitude And Mindfulness

Have you heard about mindfulness? The practice of making sure that you are in the present, not worrying about everything else that is going on around you. Mindfulness and gratitude are connected as, when you take the time to focus on how you feel and what you are experiencing in that moment, it will teach you to be appreciative of your life as it is.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

If you think that gratitude is something that is going to be hard for you to do on a regular basis then you might want to keep a gratitude journal. The idea of these is that they encourage you to write down the things that you are grateful for each and every day. After a week or two, filling this out will become the norm and you may even find that you spot things you are grateful for without even looking. Find out more about journaling here.

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Being of Service

Another part of gratitude is the ability to give back to others around you. The best way to do this is to offer up your time and volunteer. Think about a cause, charity or organisation that you are keen to support and then offer your time to them. Not only will they be grateful for the support, but you will also feel much happier in yourself too. It is a definite win-win situation.

Being grateful is something that we can all do. It might be hard to start with, but with time and regular practice, it will feel natural and you will notice that you feel a whole lot more positive about your life and those around you. The benefits of gratitude may lead to a range of good things entering your life, a positive mindset is the first step to living heartful.

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash