Having Gratitude And Being Mindful
Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation for everything that means something to you. It's a state of thankfulness and appreciating everything around you -It can be about anything from the world in which you live, the people you know and the things you do. Nothing is to small to feel gratitude towards. Being mindful is a state where your mind is fully aware of your surroundings and you have care towards everything. It's something everyone can do and helps with stress.
What is gratitude and mindfulness?
Gratitude is such an important thing to have in your life and more so when you are in the mist of mental health. When you are low, feeling depressed and worthless, seeing the good in people and things can be hard but it can be done, with practice. Gratitude is something that you have to learn and work at, everyday to help you. Having gratitude doesn't rid you of your problems but can help you appreciate and see your life and situations in a better and nicer light. It helps you realise that no matter the struggle, you have got things in your life that are amazing. It helps you notice the small things that are beautiful and amazing in your life and around you, always. It's something that can help improve your mood, sleep, relationships, jealousy, envy and your mental well-being. It can help with all negative aspects of your life. You can have gratitude about anything and everything. There is nothing in life you can't be grateful for, even the issues you face. Mindfulness is being mindful of everything around you, more so than normal and noticing the small details. It's an act of peace within yourself where your mind is fully aware of what is happening, what you are doing and feeling.
When you look at life as a whole there are millions of us going on our own journeys. Some are on a path of career others parenthood. Some are just trying to get by and some might be having the fight of their life. We all are human but no journey is the same and it never will be. No matter the life you live, how big your home is, what job you have or your mental health, you are on a journey and alive, the first thing to have gratitude for. Think about when you last were grateful to be alive. It might have been today or a week ago or maybe you have never thought about it. Today is the day and it should be something you have gratitude for everyday.
The world in which we live is such an amazing, beautiful place and it really is taken for granted. When you wake up in the morning be grateful and mindful of what ever the weather. It could be warm, sunny and there is a nice cool breeze in the air which is scented of the season you are in. The birds may be singing and their are people out already, getting on with their day. It even might be raining but don't let that put you off. Notice the sound of the rain on the window, the smell it leaves in the grass, the cool refreshing mist it leaves on your face. The world is also a big place, notice it when you look up at the sky, you realise how small you are compared to it. Being mindful of the space between you and everything else makes you realise that your problems are not as big as you may think, how could they be?
The Small Things
Being mindful of the small things really makes you realise how lucky you are. Having a cup of tea is the perfect time to practice mindfulness and gratitude. Take your time making your tea, notice how it feels when you stir it and pour in the milk. Sit back, relax. Feel how the chair in which you sit feels against your body and hold the mug between both hands and feel the warmth. Bliss, right? A small thing like a cup of tea can really ground you and bring you into the now and make you feel calm and relaxed. Think about your friends or partner. How they smile, hold your hand or look at you. Think of how they make you laugh or pick you up when your down. You are lucky to have them and they are lucky to have you. Let them know that you love them, let them know the reasons why. The world is a better place when love is shown. When your eating a meal think about the food, the texture, the taste and the emotion. With each mouthful take your time and enjoy it! The small things really can mean anything! I like to get myself relaxed and comfy when watching a movie. I take my time getting my blanket perfect, I move myself about to get in the position. I have my snack and drink at arms reach and I'm mindful of every single detail in that moment and I have gratitude. I have it for many reasons, the fact I can do it, I'm in a warm house, I have a lovely partner. I notice these small things and make them big things.. bigger than my problems.
spread gratitude around like confetti
Having gratitude isn't just about you and making yourself feel good, it's about others also! Make sure everyday you give someone a complement and make them feel good. It's so simple yet powerful and you know how good it makes you feel so why not share? We are all human and we have negative parts but don't focus on those, look at the positive in people as it will make you feel good. The term "share the love" is such a true statement! Help make others feel what you want to feel - loved, valued and wanted.
Of course I understand when you are feeling low seeing the good in everything is almost impossible, sometimes you just can't and that's okay! This is why it's important to practice and learn on the days when you are a little better. Sometimes all you need to do is look at the situation and think "what can I learn from this" and look at what you need to change to make it better each time. Sometimes even at the darkest time there is always something you can be grateful for, like I said the small things.
Being more mindful of all the good in your life is proven to make you feel better. It makes us compare less and be more grateful of the amazing things we do have. I have created a simple yet fun thing for you to do every week. It's a weekly grateful list. Just print it out and fill it in. I have put it into three sections. Six things you are grateful for in the week, things you have accomplished and one positive thing about yourself. Once a week fill this in from the past week. Writing it down and getting it out will help you remember all the good things you have done and will remind you it's not as bad as you think. You can get this download HERE.