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The Power of Gratitude: Cultivating a Positive Mindset in Challenging Times


A banner with various shades of green flowers and a statement saying "I am truly grateful for..."


“Gratitude - the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”


I’m a big believer in the power of gratitude and I’ve been writing in my gratitude diary daily for as long as I can remember. I’m grateful for everything from my family to birds and bees, even the washing (I’ll explain that one later).

 


A woman meditating on a pebble beach, sat on a brown mat with a copper sound bowl


There have been a multitude of studies that have found that practicing gratitude can help both your emotional and physical well-being. It’s been found to aid in better sleep, reduce stress levels, and can even enrich your relationships.

 

Practicing gratitude is such an easy task and can be completed at any time of the day, be it written down, thought, or spoken aloud. I practice all three regularly throughout the day. If I’m completing a task that I don’t particularly like, for instance, the washing, I say “I am truly grateful for the clothes on my back, or I am truly grateful for the towels I use”; it instantly makes you feel better.

 

Shifting Perspective: The Positive Impact of Gratitude



Royal Alcazar of Seville, the oldest royal palace in Europe, still in use today

 

We all know that we can have good days and bad, or even a good day with the odd bad aspect; however, you can conquer this with gratitude. Whatever the negative, gratitude places a positive spin on it. Gratitude shifts your focus from the negative to the positive, encouraging better resilience.

 

As I said earlier, there are various ways of practicing gratitude, so let's take a look at each individually.

 

Gratitude Journal: Putting Pen to Paper



Journal and pen on a wooden outdoor table

 

I start on a new page each day, and I always write it down as I feel pen to paper is more authentic than typing. On the left page, I write what I am grateful for in the present moment; for instance, I am truly grateful that I woke up this morning. On the right-hand page, I write what I am grateful for in the future; for example, I am truly grateful for my summer house/office in the garden.

 

Gratitude in Thought: Reflecting on Gifts



A lady in a white and black stripey jumper opening a gift wrapped in brown paper and tied with a red satin bow

Each night when you go to bed, run off a list in your head of all the things you are grateful for; things that happened during your day, things that are reoccurring in your life, things that you just couldn’t imagine living without. Not only does this practice promote positivity, but it can also lead to a better night's sleep as you reflect on your gifts.

 

Gratitude Aloud: Expressing Appreciation



White Pebble with smiley faces and #gratitude. Image credit to Nick Fewings

 

Whenever you find yourself stuck on something during your day, say out loud “I am grateful for the lesson this is teaching me.” Or perhaps you finish a particularly difficult task, “I am truly grateful to have completed said task”.

 

Gratitude can transform your outlook on work and life, encouraging positivity, less stress, and a genuine love of life. Be grateful for what you have and not what you do not.

 

Why not write down three things you are grateful for right now?

 

For me:

 

I am truly grateful for the flowers and chocolates my husband bought for me.

I am truly grateful for my wonderful family and friends.

I am truly grateful to have a roof over my head.



I’d love to hear what you're grateful for in the comments below.

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