This is a guest article written by Kirsty Martin, a certified health and well-being coach (Life Coaching, Nutrition, Personal Training and Mindfulness) and the founder of The Well Vibe where she curates content, hosts workshops and writes articles.
Gratitude helps us feel more positive emotions, build better relationships, deal with adversity (something definitely needed at the moment) and can even strengthen our immune system.
In our fast-paced, modern day lives we can often forget to stop and smell the roses. We are so busy moving from one thing to the next that our small daily wins can often be overlooked in favour of the next “to-do”. Well, it’s time to replace that “to-do” with a “ta-dah” and celebrate the little things that happen everyday. It may seem daunting at first but by following our super easy steps below you’ll soon find yourself living daily in a state of pure gratitude.
Close your eyes and take your mind back to a time in your life where something wonderful happened. As you close your eyes vividly replay the memory in your head engaging as many senses as you can. Try to remember all the emotions that you felt that day. As you replay the memory, you may notice that you begin to experience a wave of positive energy run over your body. You begin to feel the same excitement and joy that you felt that day, you may even smile to yourself.
Now pause. That feeling right there, is gratitude. Just like that, through the power of your own thoughts you cultivated gratitude within a few seconds, right from within.
Why is it that we often save that feeling for those really big things that happen in life? How much more glorious would life be if we could feel like that every day? Well, luckily we can. Through practicing gratitude we have the power to turn those small everyday moments into moments of greatness.
Simply give yourself 10 minutes at the end of the day to sit by yourself and think of 3 things that you are grateful for that happened in your day. Now, as you write these out in your journal you need to cultivate that same feeling that we just experienced above (this is the part often left out). It’s okay if at first you need to remember a memory to get into that state of being, with time it will become easier.
As we repeat this practice our brain begins to associate the small things that we write down such as blue skies on a morning walk, getting a car parking space right by the entrance when it was raining, finishing a workout and feeling healthy with an excited and grateful state of being so that when these small things happen to us again, our brain releases our happy hormones. We start to physically feel more joy in our day at the smaller things in life. Time whizzes by so quickly sometimes and we often forget to stop and pause at what went well and what we enjoyed. The more we actively practice gratitude the more we realise all that we have. We start to see things which we normally take for granted in a different light. We fill our time focusing on all that we have rather than focusing on what we don’t have.