Gratitude & 10 things I’m truly grateful for
I’ve been meaning to write about gratitude for a while, but have been unsure how to go about this without sounding smug. Gratitude is the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.
I feel I am tremendously privileged across many elements of my life. In fact, I’m highly cognisant of this and often humbled by it. It doesn’t mean that my life is always easy (it isn’t), but in the whole it’s possibly easier than for many others. However, I am truly grateful for this and frequently ‘practise gratitude’ or count my blessings.
Below I share the benefits of practising gratitude and some simple ways of doing so. I also share how I practise gratitude using a gratitude diary and 10 things I’m truly grateful for in my life.
Benefits of gratitude
So why is this important anyway?
Practising gratitude can make us feel better and bring numerous benefits to our lives including physical and mental health, as well as our relationships with others. It can even help us to living longer and more satisfying lives.
I have certainly felt more satisfied with my lot since I’ve been consciously thinking about it.
Simple ways of practising gratitude
While some people may naturally feel grateful to be alive, there are also ways to help encourage and stimulate these feelings. I’m no expert in this, but it seems like there are many ways to practise gratitude. Click here to learn 40 simple ways in which to do it.
There are some great ones here including noticing the beauty in nature, smiling more often and including a daily act of kindness. These don’t need to take a lot of time, cost a lot of money or be captured on social media!
I have been keeping a daily gratitude diary for several years. The idea is a simple one: at the end of each day, I write down three things that I am grateful for that day. However, the impact of this gratitude diary is huge. It helps me to create a positive picture of my life and improves the way I feel about it.
Initially this felt hard, but as with many practices it has become easier with habit and time. I try not to overthink this. Often my musings are not original and many are repeated over time.
I complete my diary when I put my daughter to bed and I look forward to this ritual and the positive energy it brings me. I can always come up with three things I’m grateful for, even on the toughest of days.
e.g. I went for a beautiful autumn walk in the woods with my son – see photo
e.g. I saw a beautiful sunrise
e.g. I tried a new recipe
As an aside, while I’m at it, I log one thing that has empowered me each day too.
e.g. I made a new connection at a networking group.
e.g. I got positive feedback from my latest article
10 things I’m grateful for
As I mentioned above there are a number of things I am truly grateful for in my life. When I brainstormed them to write this article I came up with loads, but you’ll be grateful to know I’ve refined the list to the 10 below.
- Who I am – some of this is circumstantial e.g. having English as my native language, living in a safe country, being part of a normal(ish) family, but some of this is shaped by my prior and current life choices. Overall, I’m happy to be me.
- Loving partner – my husband is my rock. Today is our 11th wedding anniversary!
- Supportive network of family and friends – although they can rarely keep up with me and they’re probably not always sure what I’m doing, I feel the support of those near and dear to me.
- Health – my own and most of those close to me.
- Energy – I have the energy to get up early, to manage multiple challenges simultaneously and to keep going even when the going gets tough.
- A thirst for and access to knowledge – I always want to learn more about things that interest me and have the ability to access that knowledge, through studies, research or through inspirational teachers.
- Nature – I feel drawn to nature and in wonder of the changes we see around us. I try to access nature when I can – mainly via walking – to reground myself. Autumn is a particular favourite of mine – those beautiful leaves!
- Sense of adventure – even as a forty something I’m still excited by adventure. This could be with my kids, friends or even alone. I think it’s the feeling of freedom I associate with getting out and about.
- Good habits – I’m generally quite good at setting good habits for myself and sticking to these. I have a good moral compass and use this mainly to be the good school girl, although sometimes I use it to establish good habits
- Being alert and aware of opportunities around me. Sometimes there are signs we don’t see, but they are often there if we’re looking out for them. A positive and open attitude is also key here.
Practising gratitude can make us feel better and bring numerous benefits to our lives including physical and mental health, as well as our relationships with others. It can even help us to living longer and more satisfying lives. There are many ways in which this can be done and it doesn’t need to be time consuming or costly. A small but worthwhile investment in my mind and a great reason to start a new habit today!
What will you do to practise gratitude in your life?
Thank you for reading. For more interesting articles, visit my blog at www.agelifebalance.com to learn more.