Some Thoughts about Gratitude
I recently had the pleasure of spending an evening with some favourite peeps that, although I get to see them often, rarely get together socially. During the evening I was surprised to be gifted the beautiful pendant pictured here: GRATITUDE. The gifter said the word on the pendant was random but I’ m not so sure… (Do you ever wonder how certain things are attracted into your life?) Afterwards as I found myself thinking back to the warmth and humour of our visit I couldn’t help but realize that I was in fact grateful…. For the connection with some fabulous women, for the fact that everyone could attend, for the great meal, for the laughs, for the gifts and for the warm feelings I was left with. This may sound “sappy” to some of you? But the thing is, that warm feeling of gratitude carried forward as I spent the next day enjoying the sunshine while I gardened and although I had a task list (as usual) I found myself noticing and enjoying things that I realized I was grateful for: the beauty of the day and the flowers, the worms feeding my soil lol, the breeze that made such a peaceful sigh in the trees and kept bugs at bay, my little canine companion who is so playful all day, and the sound of the water lapping on the shore. Noticing these simple things that day made it so enjoyable that I didn’t even feel those aching post-gardening muscles as much.
I found myself reflecting on other days that I have spent hours doing similar tasks and thought of them as chores. On those occasions maybe noticing the things that were amiss in the garden or things that needed to be done rather than appreciating the beauty of getting hands dirty to nurture living things. How I felt more grumpy and tired on those occasions and finished with more aches and pains.
There is lots of interest in the psychology of gratitude these days. Researchers are finding there are great benefits to practicing gratitude: benefits that can affect our mood and outlook on life. Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.
Practicing gratitude helps people see the positive in their lives or in a situation (even if it is only the recognition of what can be learned from a bad situation). The biggest bonuses come from experiencing gratitude habitually, but natural ingrates needn’t despair. Simple exercises can give even skeptics a short-term mood boost, and “once you get started, you find more and more things to be grateful for,” says Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher at the University of California at Davis.
That is exactly how the feeling of gratitude influenced my weekend. It was a very cool experience. I am so happy (and grateful haha) that I was gifted this pendant. It was a great catalyst to an “Aha” moment that brought me back to the practice of gratitude. If you are wondering whether gratitude could be for you or how to start practicing gratitude, tune in on Friday for our educational link. I found a few neat little ways for you to begin.
Thanks for reading