5 benefits of daily gratitude
1. “Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals. If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.” – Roy T. Bennett
Envy is the enemy of gratitude. One might think that envy can be a tool to motivate you to strive harder for success. But envy is not a good foundation on which to build. There will always be someone with more of what you think you need to achieve happiness – more money, more time to travel, more business success….Gratitude on the other hand helps boost creativity and productivity – two indispensible tools to achieving your goals.
Our dear little old house is a work in progress, and it is decorated with loads of baskets and boxes for fur babies. Is it perfect? Hardly! A new roof is next on the agenda. But I am grateful for what we have accomplished so far – a new heating system, some new windows, some new insulation and, most importantly, the transformation of a very rough outbuilding into what is now my studio.
Stress seems to be a constant presence in our daily lives. We berate ourselves for our past mistakes; we are irritated by daily annoyances (road rage is a perfect example); and we worry about our future and the future of our families. We cannot change the past – we can only learn the lessons that were taught. Worrying about the future changes nothing. By living in the present moment, we can help to alleviate that worry about tomorrow. Let’s look at a “hot topic” stressor – climate change. Simply worrying about the state of Mother Earth will accomplish nothing. Being grateful for the beauty of nature around us encourages us to make daily small lifestyle changes that will create a healthier earth tomorrow.
3. “Being thankful is not always experienced as a natural state of existence. We must work at it, akin to a type of strength training for the heart.” – Larissa Gomez
Practicing gratitude is as important for your health as a nutritious diet and daily exercise! It can lower your blood pressure, boost your immunity through increased immunoglobulin A, decrease stress which in turn decreases cortisol levels, resulting in decreased inflammation. It can also help you get a better night’s sleep!
Believe me – I am far from perfect at leading a grateful life. There is a highly sarcastic, negative voice in the back of my brain that tries to wheedle its way into my thoughts. When I recognise its sneaky little tentacles starting to creep into my consciousness, I purposefully choose to turn that sarcastic and negative thought into a positive. Not always easy but I do find that unwelcome voice gets quieter every day.
Yes, I am grateful for the “big ticket” things in my life – health, family, good friends, a job I love. But it is often the very small things, when I pause long enough to take notice, that bring me such a sense of joy and gratitude…two butterflies dancing together in the garden, a chunky little bumblebee that shouldn’t be able to fly but is happily making its way from flower to flower, the beautiful view from the studio windows.