Focusing on gratitude is an area of wellness which is becoming increasingly popular. To break it down, gratitude basically means, the quality of being thankful and the desire to show appreciation. By spending time each day thinking about what you are grateful for, you can improve both your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that having a sense of positivity and gratitude can aid sleep, lower blood pressure, and improve your immune system.
Most people think that gratitude is a feeling people get after something good has happened to them. But the ability to focus on gratitude takes practice, because we can easily forget the small things which add joy and value to our lives.
As our bucket list grew, we began to realise how lucky we were every time we ticked something off. Because of this, we wanted to make sure we didn’t take our achievements for granted, so added a gratitude journal to our daily wellness toolbox.
The sheer act of noticing things we’re grateful for has a significant impact on our brain, more specifically to our neural pathways. They are a series of connected neurons which send signals from one part of the brain to the other. The strength of the neural pathway is dependent on habits and behaviours. This means the more you focus on gratitude the stronger it’s influence on the physical reactions and structure of your brain. After a while you’ll notice that even when you’re in difficult or stressful situations, you can turn your thoughts from negative to a positive.
All of this means that simply by focusing on gratitude, you can create a mental environment which pushes you to achieve your goals and dreams, boosts your self-confidence and strive for relationships which nurture your soul. All of this can only be a good thing!
How to Find Things to Be Grateful For
When it comes to finding things to be grateful for, our advice would be to keep it simple. There are beautiful things all around you, you just have to take a moment and think about what and who you love. The more difficult task is finding the joy when you’re struggling to be positive, but that will come with time. Here are a couple of methods we have used to enhance our gratitude practice.
Start a gratitude journal – This is something we currently do every morning, and it gives us a positive start to the day. Starting a gratitude journal is incredibly easy, all you need is a notebook and pen. We bought one for a couple of pounds which we use as both a gratitude book and journal. How many gratitude’s you write every day is completely down to you. We chose three because it is enough to make us think about how lucky we are, but not enough to be a chore. The best part of this is that you can grab a brew, sit, relax, and really focus on what makes you smile.
Find daily gratitude quotes – You’ll be surprised by how many of these will appear on your social media sites. But why not seek some out and write them down on a chalk board or a place you can see them daily. Quotes are great resources to help inspire us and reflect on the wonderful things in our lives. If you simply Google ‘gratitude quotes’, you’ll find plenty will pop up and you can choose which resonate with you.
Ideas Of Things to Be Grateful For
If you’re struggling to know where to start, then this list is the ideal page for you to bookmark and use daily. We’ve collated 100 things to be grateful for, most of them will be everyday items in your life. But bear in mind that gratitude is endless, and it can be personalised, so make sure on your list you throw in the things you feel blessed for.
- Good health.
- Your home.
- Your children.
- Your Pets.
- Being loved.
- Having money in the bank.
- Good healthy food.
- A good night’s sleep.
- Fresh air.
- Clean water.
- Your job – Having a steady pay check.
- Bucket lists – Had to be on there somewhere.
- The weekend.
- Having an education.
- The ability to talk.
- A good book – Especially when you’re warm and cosy on the couch or in the bath.
- The different seasons.
- Hobbies which bring you joy.
- Transportation – Especially when they take us to our bucket list items.
- Art – Paintings and sculptures.
- Modern healthcare.
- Photographs – Reliving memories.
- A good hug.
- New experiences.
- Good Conversations.
- Uncontrollable laughs.
- Random acts of kindness.
- Wanderlust – Travel.
- Your favourite memories.
- Starry nights.
- Clean bedding and comfy pillows.
- Hot showers and baths.
- Watching your favourite TV shows.
- The changing colours of leaves in Autumn.
- Road trips.
- Home cooked meals.
- Orange / red sunsets.
- Restaurants – No cooking or dishes.
- Comfortable clothes and shoes.
- Inside jokes.
- Checking something off your to-do list.
- Positive feedback.
- Your favourite perfume.
- Birds chirping in the morning.
- Waves crashing on the beach.
- Jumping in a pile of leaves.
- Naughty foods – Chocolate, cake, crisps.
- Your favourite smell – This could be anything such as food, suntan lotion, coffee or cut grass.
- Giving gifts.
- Receiving gifts.
- Mentors – People who inspire and educate you, whether online or in person.
- Having time to do what you want, when you want.
- Random bursts of inspiration.
- Nights out with your other half or friends.
- The ability to learn something new.
- Your kind heart.
- Your strength to keep going when things get tough.
- Getting another chance to start fresh on New Years Day.
- Your talents.
- Amusement parks.
- Positive people.
- Exercise – Endorphins flowing through you after a workout.
- Your wedding day.
- Scented candles.
- The fact that you were born.
- All the beauty you notice in the simplest things.
- Birthdays because it’s a day that’s all about you.
- Christmas Day.
- Romantic proposals.
- Dancing in the rain.
- A quiet moment of solitude.
- Wellness practices such as meditation and journalling.
- Learning to let go.
- Sleeping in and naps.
- Getting help when you need it.
- Finding old video footage of someone you miss.
- A good and helpful blog post.
- Tears which express your emotions.
- Your unique personality.
- An apology from someone whose hurt you.
- Going to an event you’ve been waiting for.
- Finishing a big project.
- Dancing freely – Put your favourite tunes on and go for it.
- Connection with others in whatever form.
- Staying up all night talking to an amazing person.
- Celebrate the success of others.
- Buying an outfit that makes you feel confident.
- Not giving up.
- The universe and your existence.
What Are You Grateful For?
That’s the key question and the reality is it could be all of the points above or just some. The best part of focusing on your gratitude is that it gives you a few moments to yourself. But within those moments you get to contemplate the best things in your life.
It’s easy to forget about the beautiful things around us and in our lives, but gratitude should be everywhere. In reality we are blessed in so many ways, all we need to do is stop and focus.
How you start is down to you, it could be as simple as taking a break for a few minutes and thinking about your life or writing down gratitude’s in a journal. Although this is incredibly inexpensive cost wise, it will add an immense amount of value mental health wise.
What you will find is that it will change the way you view your world and turn negative situations into positives ones, which can only be a good thing.