Introducing practices of gratitude are never actions that we regret; these practices engender positivity and gratitude is the vehicle that opens up more lines of communication.
Jo Howarth from The Happiness Club says:
When we take the time and make the effort to show our gratitude to others for the things they do to help us, it can help to transform their day too. And that, my friends, is what you call a win-win. We feel great because we have gratitude flowing through us and they feel great because now they do too.
But where do you start? Before we can reach out to others we first need to look inwards at ourselves and think about everything and perhaps more importantly everyone we feel grateful for!
Gratitude is also a key theme across many religions.
In Sikhism there are teachings of seva or inner joy, and how that can be used as a starting point to live a kinder life.
Gratitude is also the cornerstone of Christianity, being thankful for everything, in all circumstances.
So, take a good look at yourself. At this particular moment in time and think about who and what you are thankful for.
There are obvious people who we feel we owe a debt of gratitude for; doctors, carers and teachers.
But if we scrutinise ourselves even more closely, there are many more people we should be thankful to.
We are thankful for our family members, thankful that they are always there for us when we need them.
There are our colleagues who put up with us on bad days, helping us through, and they are thankful to us when we return the favour.
Our friends, who know us on an even deeper level, as they have been on similar journey. Made similar good or bad decisions, cheered us on with encouragement and advice and screamed at us when we ignored the good advice and carried on regardless!
On a daily basis there are always people we are thankful to, someone holding a door open, a bus driver waiting, someone making space for us in the supermarket, someone who served us with a smile and the list goes on.
Gratitude marks a moment in time. Before we can express gratitude, we must consciously recognise that someone has acted kindly and deserves recognition for their actions.
Some mindfulness techniques often suggest implementing practices of gratitude, as we know gratitude doesn't only benefit the recipient of gratitude but also has a positive effect on our own mental health.
One such practice is keeping a diary of gratitude, maybe at the end of the day, sitting down and reflecting on the day's events, thinking about all the good things that have happened, and how grateful we are for all these events and the people whose actions were responsible for them.
Even if we had a bad day, we could look at it more objectively and thank the people who made it a little better.
If we spend more time highlighting the positives and moments of gratitude, we probably wouldn't have enough hours in the days to waste time on all the negatives!
So, let's start those chains of gratitude by thinking about our own situation and help to turn the world into a more positive place!