It’s difficult to write about gratitude without sounding a little too prescriptive and moralistic. A vision of people saying “just be grateful” springs to mind. And anyone that has been told this, knows how invalidating and dismissive it can be. But that kind of toxic positivity is not my aim here, so I hope you can hear me out. Rather, with the holiday season coming up (a season that can be a lot about forward thinking and longing for what we want), I think it’s a good time to take stock of what we already have.
So often, we’re onto the next big thing, sometimes it’s good to slow down and look at what’s around you.
The concept of gratitude has also made its way into the field of psychology, especially within the branch of Positive Psychology. Keeping a gratitude journal, has been found to be an effective way of improving your mental health. So not only is it a wholesome practice for our well-being, but there’s also evidence to back it up!
People that practice gratitude show higher levels of empathy, lower aggression and experience less ‘toxic emotions’. It’s strongly associated with greater happiness and it can especially ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
What’s not to love?
Given all that, I’d like to invite you to join me in taking a moment to write down 3 things you’re grateful for. It may be difficult, and it may even feel super cheesy… I urge you to give it a go anyway. Take note of how you feel afterwards. Notice a difference?