Putting the ‘tude in Gratitude

Happy Australia Day!

imageEvery year when Aus Day rolls around we’re reminded of all the things that makes this place so awesome. We are indeed “the lucky country”. We have a fantastic climate, relatively low levels of unemployment, an enviable lifestyle, a comprehensive education system and a health system that is considered by many to be world class.

But out why wait till the 26 January to stop and think?

Gratitude is a daily practise that makes you appreciate life just that little bit more. Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, grateful thinking—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased levels of energy, optimism, and empathy.

  • Gratitude puts situations into perspective. When we can see the good as well as the bad, it becomes more difficult to complain and stay stuck.
  • Gratitude helps us realize what we have. This can lessens our need for wanting more all the time.
  • Gratitude strengthens relationships, improves health, reduces stress, and, in general, makes us happier.

If you’re not grateful for the things you have now, how do you expect to be happy with more of it?

If you’re feeling miserable you don’t have enough money or you’re just wanting things to be different, consider the above. Why would more money make you happy when you’re not happy with your money now?

Focusing on what you have or don’t have sends out messages to the universe that we want more of it. Be grateful for the good in your life, as your thoughts attract more of the same.

I’ve been keeping a Gratitide Journal for the last year.you I don’t often look back over my entries except when I’m bored or feeling down. When I do, it floods back those happy memories and reminds me of all the things that are special to me.

Like 24 December, 2013, when I got to spend one on one time with my nieces and nephew, getting to know them better, or 3 February, 2014, when I smashed the Core fitness class at the gym. Even grateful to companies, like Qantas on the 14 May, 2014, when they changed me to an earlier flight without hassle. That was the day I was flying home from work, my last day working a FIFO job. That was the happiest plane trip I’ve had by far. If it wasn’t for my journal I might forget those little, precious moments. While each moment may seem insignificant, they’re the little moments that make life great. Forgetting these moments would make life a little bland.

I aim to write down 5 things a day I’m grateful for. Some days I struggle to find one, other days I could easily come up with 100! The point is to record something to remind you to stay grateful for all that you have. Even on your worst days you can still be grateful to be alive or to have a roof over your head.

You can use whatever device works best for you: diary, notepad, App or computer program. Just remember to record the dates too so you can look back over entries at a later date!

I use a free App on my phone called “Gratitude Dairy” which allows you to easily input all those things you’re grateful for as you think of them. It reminds you after 3 days of not posting as well to help keep you on track. It’s suitable for android and Apple users.

And if if you needed any more incentive: grateful people are healthier. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups with their doctors, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.

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