It can hard when you’re in the middle of a tough time to remember that things are not all bad – even though it may seem that way. How can gratitude help?
Finding things to be grateful for is be a great way to achieve an overview of where you are. We are not hardwired to recognise the positive, which you can put down to our caveman selves being on the constant look out for danger. It seems that our brains have not evolved to keep up with the relative lack of danger for most of us in the day to day world. Training your brain to remember that all is not doom and gloom will benefit you in both the short and long terms. Like all new habits, it may not be easy to start with, but practice will definitely help.
Establishing a gratitude routine is a great way to retrain the brain and to build your resilience. Try thinking of three positives from the day before you go to sleep. Writing them down can help formalise the process and may make you more likely to keep it up. However, just thinking of three positives will have the same benefit. On a particularly bad day it may be hard to think of any positives; but maybe it didn’t rain when you had to walk from your car to the office, that’s your first positive, your phone didn’t run out of battery and you remembered to take your supper out of the oven before it burnt. Three positives! On other days, the world can seem like a much better place, but that doesn’t mean you needn’t identify the day’s positives. It is always important to be grateful. One of my clients writes a few things she is grateful for daily and also scores her day depending on overall how good/average/ difficult it has been. She has found this an invaluable tool to refer back to and remind herself that things are generally pretty good, with the odd hiccup. She feels her gratitude journal helps her retain a sense of perspective. So, give it a go. What have you got to lose?
I'm a Personal Coach who loves finding out about what makes people tick and helping them to make the changes necessary to get to where they want to go.