Gratitude - How To Practice It Simply & Daily
It is the way of the world that somewhere, someone will be in a seemingly 'better' or 'worse' situation than we are - the day that you hear great news, someone may be receiving their worst news and vice versa. We know that we're supposed to be grateful and social media is oversaturated with well-meaning posts about counting your blessings. But often, the idea of gratitude is overly mystified, overcomplicated. So let's demystify it.
While rituals and tools such as gratitude journals and meditations are helpful, being appreciative of what we have can be stripped down to a simple technique - noticing your senses! (If any of your senses are impaired, give extra focus to your other senses). Not only does this make you feel good, but it also brings you into the present moment, and being present brings with it its own heap of benefits - just take a look at my article on it here!
It's easy to overlook our senses and assume that they are our birthright but they aren't - they're almost a luxury, a bonus. We could still function without them for the most part. For example, we could eat our food, and the food would still nourish us, but without being able to smell or taste it, we wouldn't experience it fully.
And of course, it's unrealistic to think we'll be the chipper, bright side version of ourselves 24/7, but the more we exercise the muscle of gratitude, the easier it'll be to flex!
So, how can you practice gratitude often?
Every day or as often as you remember to, really take notice of the things that you love and most importantly, how your senses allow you to experience them.
Is it the smell of your morning coffee?
The view from your window?
The feeling of walking across sand?
The taste of your favourite meal or cocktail?
Touching a soft blanket or cushion?
And if you want to go a level further, try to practice gratitude for the things you don't love doing. For example, when you're annoyed that you have to wake up early, reframe the situation - you get to wake up to see another day (yes, it'll be hard to remember this when your alarm goes off during what you're convinced is the best sleep of your life!)
All it boils down to is that there really is so much to be grateful for, even when we forget that there is. And while being grateful makes us feel good, it brings with it tonnes of biological and psychological benefits - find out what they are in my next post later this month!