Did you know that our brains are programmed to inherently focus on the negative rather than positive? This could be due to evolutionary survival purposes, social conditioning, and/or other reasons. And it inevitably has an impact on any mental health difficulties we are facing (both as individuals and societies).
But with practice we can shift our default ways of thinking to promote more healthy, happier minds. One good way of incorporating gratitude as an aspect of your everyday life is to keep a gratitude/appreciation (for both yourself and others) journal!
It’s the beginning of another year, a good time to reflect, and I feel grateful for so much…
Grateful to call multiple places home. Grateful to be employed and to be able to help people for work. Grateful to have a mom who is ceaselessly caring, willing to listen, and encourages me to search for & honour my truth. Grateful to have experienced being in love. Grateful to have access to mountains & beaches nearby, and for all my grounding time spent in nature. Grateful for my cat who loves me so much he wants to sleep directly on top of/curled around me (and yes, it makes sleeping hard!) Grateful to have a dad who is sweet, creative, and just the right amount of nerdy. Grateful for all the travel and learning from other cultures I’ve experienced so far in life, and to have been encouraged to dream and plan even more adventures. Grateful for the recent opportunity to spend time getting to know my grandparents, aunts/uncles, & cousins better. Grateful for my legs which carried me through miles and miles of marathon training & that final race. Grateful for my brown eyes. Grateful to have two caring, fun, brothers who are also my good friends. Grateful for several opportunities to learn about history, spanish, anthropology, classical civilisations, criminology, youth justice, english literature (and more!) during my time in education – how crazily diverse and intelligent the human brain is and all that it has created. Grateful for warm sunshine. Grateful for the beautiful night sky (especially when I can spot the moon). Grateful for the mementos/photos/books/knick knacks that I’ve collected which help me settle into any new home space and feel cosy. Grateful for the food I put inside my body. Grateful for the smell of rain. Grateful for my honest, authentic connections to friends who’ve met me at different stages in my life, accepted me as I am, and who have helped me create irreplaceable memories. Grateful for my dog who feels pure joy at simple things like walking in the park and rolling in the grass. Grateful for all the art, music, stories and magic that have been introduced to me throughout my life. Grateful for chocolate, mince pies & jaffa cakes. Grateful for hot showers & baths. Grateful for my health. Grateful for the first 25 years I’ve had on this earth.
What are you grateful for?