Gratitude is Healthy
Two weeks to go and this year will be behind us and a new one about to begin. I don’t know about you but for me this year has been one of my most challenging. The gift in the year has been that it made me realise what I already have. I am very grateful for the space, time and support I have had and feel excited about the possibilities for 2019.
Gratitude, we hear it mentioned often but I almost forgot what a powerful tool it can be for our wellbeing. We all have something to be grateful for and what I love about expressing gratitude is it gets you to focus on the positive things in life rather than the negative, and there seems to be plenty of negative out there.
I have always seen myself as an optimist but even I have found myself slipping into despair this year. For me the best way out of this state is through gratitude. Now I generally keep my gratitude to myself writing lists of all the things I have to be grateful for. But I was recently reminded it is when you share your thanks that it becomes even more powerful because then you are having a positive effect on other people.
I was out visiting toy shops with my 9 year old nephew, so he could see what was on offer and could be a potential Christmas present. One of the young men working in the store asked what he liked and before long they were in deep conversations about cars and he went so far as to go get new batteries so my nephew could try one of the remote cars on the track.
He was so enthusiastic and really connected with my nephew when we were leaving the store my nephew said how nice and helpful the young man had been so I suggested we go and find him so he could say thank you. When my nephew did he was shy but sincere and both the receiver and the giver of the thank you seemed to benefit in equal measure.
I have been reading "Authentic Happiness" by Martin Seligman and there is an exercise he suggests and I plan to do and I hope you will consider doing it too. Think of one person who has been a positive force in your life but that you have never really thanked. Write them a letter to express what they mean to you. When you find the right opportunity, read that letter aloud to them and then give them the letter, if possible it is better to do it face to face so they can hear your words.
That is one powerfully positive gift right there!
So at this time of year when we moan about family commitments, shopping is hell and the roads are chocked up with holiday makers finding ways to be grateful and give thanks is a healthy way to get through to the new year.
In closing I would like to say thank you, to all of you who open my e-mails, read what I have to share and tell me how much you enjoy hearing from me. You can’t imagine how much you have made my heart sing.