Gratitude is not just a hashtag on your IG

Genuine gratitude helps us celebrate the present moment.

Graciousness – feeling grateful – a word derived from the Latin word Gratia, meaning grace.  Feeling grateful for what you have and being thankful for all the blessings that surround you are synonymous with one another.  Acknowledging such blessings helps you stay with what is beautiful in your life, while putting your focus and energy on just that. 

Unsurprisingly, this feeling brings about the recognition that goodness also lies outside of ourselves, helping us feel connected to something bigger than us – a higher power – whether that represents God, nature or the power of family.  It is a beautiful thing to be humble and recognise our dependence on others for our many blessings and any achieved goodness we may receive.  This in turn, helps us feel loved and worthy.

The best part of gratitude for me personally, is the fact that it affirms the goodness that exists in the world.  Being bombarded with negative media, it is too easy to forget about the beauty of this world and end up focusing on the tragedies.  Apart from this, gratitude helps us to celebrate the present moment. 

Practicing gratitude forces you to think about the good things in your life, making way to appreciate the present moment.  Additionally, a research study concluded that gratitude can reduce the frequency and duration of episodes of depression.  So it comes as no surprise, that a grateful disposition also helps with overcoming stress, and being more resilient.

How can I become more Grateful?

1.  Make a gratitude journal – Try to create a daily reminder of all the things you are grateful for; including all the gifts in your life and the things you enjoy doing. This ongoing journal will help you find joy in the ordinary whilst reminding you of all the people in your life that contribute towards your personal growth and happiness.

2. Learn and practice prayers of gratitude – A common practice in spirituality is the art of prayer. Prayers of gratitude often help us connect with what is beyond us, a higher power that helps us to make more sense of ourselves and the world around us.

3. Visual reminders – Use daily visual reminders to keep your sense of gratitude in check. People around us are often the best visual reminders in this regard.

4. Use your senses – Being in touch with all five of our senses helps us to understand and appreciate what makes us truly human. Indeed, gratitude helps us to view the human body as a miraculous gift.

Ultimately, gratitude helps pave the way for other forms of positive thinking as it helps us to look at the beauty in our lives. For example, appreciating an aspect of your life, like work, can help you to achieve work satisfaction which may actually make you better at your job too!

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