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Attitude of Gratitude

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Why bother practising gratitude? It seems silly to say "I'm grateful for a cup of tea". Maybe some days you feel there is nothing to be grateful for. You feel like everything goes wrong in your life anyway, you always try so hard and it feels like bad luck follows you so why bother finding things to be grateful for, that's not going to make things better.

Well, if you have felt that way about gratitude or feel that way, I have been there with you. At times I've even felt like I'm going through the motions of practising gratitude because people say its good for you, so I say things like "I'm grateful for my family, I'm grateful for my friends, I'm grateful I have a home", and it starts to sound like an oscar acceptance speech. It's the motions of, "yeah I'm grateful for these things, now will that make me a happy person".


If there are any Friends fans out there you'll know the theme, "when it hasn't be your day, your week, your month or even you're year". That was me and very recently too. Situations beyond my control left me feeling helpless and a lot of the time, hopeless. Every time I thought it was getting better, another knock would come. My sister and I even joked about that song "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never going to keep me down", well my version was "I get knocked down, I get knocked down, I get knocked down" and to be honest, life is still knocking me a lot and that makes it really hard most days, to find things to be grateful for.


So why do I continue to practice it? A few months ago, was when I really stopped going through the motions of "I'm grateful for..." I started a gratitude journal, where everyday I write three things I am grateful for and each day they have to be three different things (just to challenge myself that wee bit more!). It's very tough some days and I sometimes get creative with what I'm grateful for, that day (many songs, films and books have now been featured) but it helps me find three things each day that have been positive, even on my roughest days.


From doing this simple practice everyday I have noticed significant changes in my attitude and sense of wellbeing. I am even more motivated to create things in my day to be grateful for. For example, stepping outside, taking deep breaths and looking at the beautiful flowers of spring. (there is my 3 things and it took 10 seconds). I notice my thoughts have become a bit kinder as have my words and outlook, as life continues to throw things at me.


Research shows there are many benefits to practising gratitude: it can help strengthen connections and relationships, can improve mood, emotional regulation and managing stress, it can help you feel more hopeful, build resilience, reduce negative thoughts, improve self esteem and physical health to name a few.


There are many ways to practice gratitude. You can start a journal, create a notes section in your phone, download a gratitude app on your phone, start a WhatsApp group and encourage friends and family to practice it with you. Get a fridge whiteboard and write 3 things every morning/night. Daily practice can be tough and can require you to really think about things in your day or life to be grateful for, but like all strategies, the more you practice it, the easier it becomes and the more benefits you will see. Start small, start day.


If you are grateful you saw this blog today, then look, you've already started.


By Angela


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