As far as health buzz words go, ‘gratitude’ is among what might seem the most cliche of them.
Thanks to all these preconceived notions of airy-fairyness, everyday thanks-giving is something that rarely crosses our mind to practice...and more’s the pity, it would seem.
According to the message of Global Gratitude Day, thankfulness is one of those game-changing habits we ALL need in our life.
Luckily for us, gratitude it’s not all about finding positives in the present (a relief given the current climate of bad news.)
Just as much, it’s about looking back, retrieving positive memories from the archives, and zeroing in on the value of these experiences, lessons...and moments.
Whichever way you apply the ‘attitude of gratitude’ (past, present or future) it can have quite significant neurological effects, especially in the area of the brain associated with learning and decision making. As such, gratitude can open the doors to a wide range of health benefits, from improved happiness, to better sleep, improved sensitivity and empathy, less stress and improved life satisfaction.
At first, writing a list of all the things we’re grateful for (also known as ‘gratitude writing’) can feel contrived, but this is a skill that can gradually be honed to our advantage.
The benefits are proven to be accrued over time, as regular gratitude practice trains the brain to be more sensitive to the very experience of being thankful.
As an exercise in gratitude, ‘camera roll surfing’ (scrolling through past pictures) is just one way of using the powers of both reminiscence and hindsight to highlight what we had/have to be thankful for.
From the sounds of the sea, to that simple feeling of being...free!
These are the little things, that we now realise are the big things, lending a new and truer meaning to what it actually means to have ’enough’, away from the shackes of ’stuff’ that 2020 has proved, if nothing else, are irrelevant to this very important concept!