Why be grateful?

Be grateful to be happy

There is compelling evidence that there are endless benefits to practising #gratitude. 

Benefits include feeling more positive emotions, feeling more alive and sleeping better. A regular gratitude practise can help you feel more loving towards yourself and others. 


You can be grateful for something obvious like a pay rise or something as simple as a warm sunny day or a delicious cup of #coffee.  Research by psychologist Robert Emmons, http://emmons.faculty.ucdavis.edu/gratitude-and-well-being/, shows that simply writing down what you’re grateful for can significantly increase your sense of well-being and life satisfaction.


Commit to yourself

A typical experience is that as soon you decide to start this practise, an amazingly powerful force of positivity starts to flow that seems to have a momentum of it’s own.  This will help you overcome any resistance you may have to starting this practice.


choose a set time

It’s helpful if you can keep to a consistent time of the day. Choose what works for you best, for example, first thing in the morning as you’re brushing your teeth or sitting on the train, etc. You can say it out loud to yourself or silently in your head or write it down.

My own gratitude practise involves stating gratefulness first thing in the morning, which sets me up positively for the day, and last thing at night, which eases me into sleep.


Just do it

No matter the resistance, start by saying “I am grateful for....”. In the beginning you may find yourself pausing, perhaps because you may not know what you’re grateful for. Just wait for a moment. You may notice a subtle shift inside you, a quietness. Surrender to this quietness and words will inevitably some up.


Say or write it

Saying is easier but writing it down is even more powerful. I couldn’t tell you why (Another interesting research topic) , but I’ve found it to be so. In addition, sharing it with someone else seems to ground and deepen the positivity even more strongly.


Feel it

In the beginning it may seem like they're just words. Like you are faking it. Continue with your practise and soon you will notice that every time you verbalise gratitude your feelings will start changing. Becoming more positive. Allow these joyful feelings to spread throughout your body. Allow yourself to sink into the feelings.

Try saying your gratitude standing tall and with raised arms. Pushing your chest forwards. Or, if you're feeling brave, whilst looking into your eyes in the mirror.

If you feel moved, then move. Dance, sing, shout out loud if you feel inspired to.


Share the practise 

Buddy up with someone and follow the gratitude practise together. It will help you stay motivated to keep going on the days your energy flags. Take turns sharing gratitudes.

It’s fun to notice your gratitude lists getting longer and longer.


Don’t stop

When you start noticing how good you’re feeling the temptation may be to stop the practise. Keep going. 

If you miss the occasional day or two, ignore the little voice inside that might criticise you for stopping. Allow yourself to be human and get back on the horse.

A wonderful joyful aliveness awaits you.