Gratitude stands for the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Not only to others, but to ourselves, the circumstances we are placed in and our experiences (better and worse). An attitude of gratitude might not literally move mountains, but it is proven to be one of the simplest ways to improve our satisfaction with life.
Research shows that being thankful can have tremendous benefits on our life quality. Additionally, cultivating gratitude is completely free of charge and doesn´t take much time – clearly a win-win situation.
Often, instead of focusing ourselves on the good things in life, we turn our attention towards our short comings and flaws. There´s nothing wrong with wanting to improve these, however pointing them out to ourselves and others frequently has a negative impact on our sense of worth and self-esteem. If we try to direct our focus in the opposite direction, embracing and appreciating what we have, what we have experienced on our journey, and loving ourselves and others – not only will we feel more confident and happier, but will also attract more positivity into our lives.
A regular practice of gratitude helps us experience positive emotions such as enthusiasm, optimism, happiness, joy and love, while protecting us from the toxic emotions of greed, frustration, anger, bitterness, hate and jealousy.
According to a study published in ¨Personality and Individual Differences¨, in 2012, ´grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people´. This means that the positive, thankful energy we are cultivating mentally benefits us physically too and can contribute to a further longevity.
Further research done by Robert A. Emmons (Ph.D) confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression and another study conducted in 2012 at the University of Kentucky showed grateful people being more compassionate and empathetic than others.
By incorporating a simple, yet powerful, gratitude practice into our lives, we will feel more confident in our lives, sleep better and be more attractive to others.
Where do we start?
Close your eyes, take a few moments to settle down, to breathe, to connect with yourself and then just ask yourself: ´What am I grateful for today?´. Although it might seem strange at first, and thoughts such as ´Why am I doing this? This is useless´ might come up, just maintain your focus and continue asking yourself the same question.
Aren´t you grateful for just being alive and healthy? For your dear ones? For the weather? For having food on your table, fresh drinking water? For the fact that the sun rises every morning? The above are just examples. You know how unique your life is – why not be thankful for all the little elements that make it one of a kind.
Another idea to start our gratitude journey, could be a gratitude journal. Spend 10 to 15 minutes writing down the things you were grateful for that day and go to bed lighter at heart, enjoying a much better sleep.
Join us on Instagram next week for a guided gratitude meditation straight from La Donaira.