When we focus on gratitude, our outlook changes. It sounds so simple, right? Yet it’s also easy to forget that we have reasons to be grateful when times are tough. Fear and stress can become our daily reality and gratitude is the last thing on our minds. However, if we choose to focus on gratitude, for just five minutes a day, we see a change in mood happens rapidly.

It’s hard to be down when we focus on gratitude

When we make a decision to focus on a positive aspect of our lives, it’s much harder to feel negative. Indeed, many studies in the last decade have shown the impact on social and emotional wellness when we practice gratitude. This article from Positive Psychology explores the neuroscience of gratitude. Consistently, studies are showing that a focus on gratitude increases our sense of wellness and happiness. Observations also show that the brain is actively making more dopamine and serotonin.

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions

Zig Ziglar

Start with a daily practice of gratitude

One thing a day. Write it down, read it outloud to yourself and spend a few minutes thinking about it. One thing you are grateful for. Whether it’s time with a loved one, a new opportunity at work or the fact you have food in your fridge. Expressing your gratitude for one thing in your world, every day, starts you on a journey of being aware of what you have to be grateful for.

You may find that this simple daily act starts to change the way you see things. When we’re open to the idea that, no matter the challenges we’re facing, we have something we can be grateful for, our focus shifts. That shift allows us to notice, to be more present in our lives. When you do this, you’re going to notice all the little things you took for granted, that make you happy. Enjoy this positivity and embrace it. Make room for it and you’ll become more aware of your blessings.

Create a Gratitude Jar

I’ve got a large jar on a shelf by my desk. It’s my Gratitude Jar. I add little notes to it whenever something happens that I know I want to remember, and for which I am grateful. One of my favourites says ‘Feb 12th. Saw an otter in our pond today’. Another says ‘hot chocolate with Amanda at Pennygawse.’ Moments, captured in a few words that instantly reconnect me with a special memory and with a sense of wellness. I even created a Gratitude Ceremony to help couples make this part of their lives together.

Join me in January for a month of gratitude

I’ve decided to start 2023 with a focus on gratitude. I’m sharing one thing I am grateful for, on my Facebook Page and Instagram, each day. I’d love you to join me and let me know the impact it’s having on you.

Dinah