Gratitude is the appreciation of the good things in our lives, big or small. It’s a feeling of thankfulness for the people, places and experiences that make our lives richer and more meaningful which for me is undoubtedly my children, pets and living in the beautiful English countryside.
Gratitude is a very powerful emotion that can have such a profound impact on our everyday well-being and outlook on life as research has shown that expressing gratitude can boost our happiness, improve our relationships and make us physically healthier.
The best news? Gratitude is a skill that is entirely free and can be learned at any age and nurtured at any time. So I thought that’s I’d share some tips with you all here…
How to cultivate gratitude in your life:
- Keep a gratitude journal. Try to take a few minutes each day to write down three things that you’re grateful for. It can be anything from your health and loved ones to a delicious meal or a beautiful sunset – whatever makes you smile!
- Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgement. When we’re mindful, we’re more likely to notice and appreciate the good things within our life. There are many different ways to practice mindfulness, why not try a spot of meditation, yoga or simply taking a few deep breaths throughout the day.
- Express your gratitude. When someone does something nice for you please always be sure to thank them for it. You can thank them in person, write them a note or even send them a text message explaining how wonderful it felt to receive their kindness. Expressing gratitude shows others that you truly appreciate them and has the added benefit of strengthening your relationships.
- Help others. Giving back to the community is a great way to nurture gratitude. When we help others we’re reminded of all the good things in our own life. It’s also a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and make a positive difference in the world.
Tips for nurturing gratitude in children:
- Model gratitude. Children learn by watching the adults in their lives. Be sure to express gratitude for the people, places, and things in your own life which will encourage your little ones to do the same.
- Create a gratitude practice. Make it a habit to talk about things you’re grateful for at meal times, bedtime or during other family activities. The children and I play a game where we take it in turns to say kind things to one another, name an object, event or experience that we feel grateful for and share hopes, dreams and goals for the future to inspire one another. You can also start a gratitude journal together and revisit it whenever you want to feel uplifted.
- Help children to appreciate the simple things. Take the time to notice the beauty of nature, the kindness of others and the little things that make life special. Rather than driving my children to school I encourage them to walk the couple of miles to the gates as this allows them the time and head space to find peace and balance for their day ahead as well as take gentle exercise and feel grounded. If you have to commute daily, why not park a little further away from your destination and encourage a 5-15mins walk en route as you list the things that you are thankful for along the way; today my son chose “our well behaved Chihuahua on the lead” “the beautiful colour of the autumn leaves” and “getting to see his best friend at school”.
Nurturing gratitude is such a simple but powerful way to improve your well-being and live a happier and more fulfilling life. The more love, light and peace that we bring into our day the more able we become at sharing it freely with others.
I welcome you to visit www.tracykisscoaching.com for more tips for a healthier and happier life.