September 19

Mindfulness Practice: Gratitude

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There’s a wide variety of mindfulness practices I believe we must definitely integrate into our daily lives.

You might’ve noticed the benefits of these practices as we cover and explore them continuously throughout these blogs.

Practising gratitude is no exception. It is a practice used by psychologists to help their patients deal better with distressing live situations.  

It is NOT just the utterance of the words “Thank You”. It is a state of appreciation and thankfulness, and it starts in your heart. 

Gratitude has helped me change the way I experience the world and although practising gratitude sounds very simple, I assure you it can have a major impact on your day-to-day, and greatly change the way we perceive life and the attitude we take towards it.

What’s to highlight about gratitude?

Gratitude is the ability that allows us to recognize past and present positive aspects of our lives, what has benefited us in some way, and those things which give a pleasant meaning to our existence.

One thing closely linked to gratitude is reciprocity. It is the emotional state of satisfaction that leads us to want to make kind gestures for others, not only because of reciprocation or moral obligation but because it genuinely arises from us to do so. It is also related to other characteristics, such as kindness and responsibility. 

It’s also argued by researchers that grateful people are often happier. Being grateful can help you feel more positive emotions, take time to appreciate good experiences, deal better with adversities, and even improve your health. 

There is also enough evidence that indicates your overall mental health is improved when you’re grateful.

Grateful people are less likely to be depressed, anxious or stressed. 

The way gratitude affects us is by:

  • Helping us focus on a positive memory or experience
  • Making us feel better about ourselves 
  • Getting us out of negative thinking
  • Making us see things from different perspectives
  • Enhancing relationships with others

How can you practice gratitude?

With the crazy and rushed life that we’re all living today, we might rarely take a moment to be grateful for things. And oftentimes we overlook all of the wonderful things around us. There’s little to no appreciation for these things- until they’re no longer in our lives and we suffer. 

If you’re not a grateful person in general, you might benefit from these few tips below that can help you boost your sense of gratitude:

Reflect every day. Be aware throughout your day and notice the positive things that happen to you. Anything can be a reason to celebrate gratitude. A good meal, a nice cup of coffee, the ability to move your body, or just being self-sufficient, are good examples of this. 

Focus on the positive. Being grateful doesn’t mean pretending everything is good and denying everything that is not pleasant. We will face difficult moments but it’s about finding the silver lining in every situation looking at these difficulties as opportunities to grow.

Change your perspective. The way we understand the world becomes our reality. Once we change our approach to certain things, a significant change in our lives happens, making it easier to practice gratitude.

Set some time for your practice.  Taking some time to meditate on what you’re grateful for can be the best way to integrate gratitude into your life. Take a moment of your day to reflect on those really good things that happened to you, the things that put a smile on your face, and determine what experiences you gained from the challenges you faced during the day.

Get a gratitude journal. A great way to start practising gratitude is by journaling it. You can get a journal where you’ll write at the end of the day all the things that you are grateful for, reflect on what happened during your day and keep a constant record. 

Feel it. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, gratitude is way more than just saying “thank you”. There’s a shift in your mind and emotional state, when we’re really grateful for something we can feel it. This should be the aim whenever you’re practising gratitude, to feel it in your core. 

Final thoughts

Knowing how to appreciate and value the little things and what happens around us can help us make gratitude a habit. Gratitude is a virtue that can greatly improve our mental health and have a positive effect on the way we see the world and on how we relate to others. 


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