It's the beginning of another year; out with the old and in with the new. It's the time when we make promises to ourselves with our New Year's resolutions. How we can improve and be even better people! One way we can all do this is by being more grateful. If we implement practices of gratitude, we will be happier and the world around us will be a happier, more positive place! So, what are practices of gratitude and how can we use them?
Gratitude starts with ourselves. It grounds us in the moment, which is the cornerstone of mindfulness and positive mental health. So, take a look at your life and think about all the things you are grateful for. Think about your health, your family. Get out into nature, and be thankful for the trees, the air that you breathe. Take a walk in the countryside or along the beach, be thankful for the sunset and all its beauty! Think about all the things and the people that you are grateful for!
If we live gratefully and practice 'deep gratitude' we don't ignore the bad things, but it will help us to put them into perspective. We are able to see that we are vulnerable and can only progress through the help of others! We will see each difficulty, each obstacle in our path as an opportunity to express gratitude and we will be moving forward through the kindness of others!
Expressing gratitude can strengthen relationships. So, the next time your partner, friend or family member does something you appreciate, be sure to let them know. This will not only fire up the prosocial parts of our brains but will start a chain of gratitude. They will feel that their kindness is valued and this will encourage them to be kinder in the future and they will want to express their gratitude too!
One valued gratitude practice is a 'gratitude journal' or diary. At the end of the day, when you have time to reflect, write down all the things that you are grateful for and all the people you are grateful to. Gratitude journals are often used to combat mental issues such as anxiety and depression. We can then turn our journal into a gratitude to do list for the following day. A list of people we need to thank for their kindness!
We can get involved in community initiatives that focus on spreading positivity through the power of gratitude. If we get involved in gratitude in the community, we will feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, we feel connected and not alone! There's Thank You Day, Care Home Open Week and Teacher's Day to mention but a few!
If we make gratitude part of our daily routine, it will become second nature. When our default setting is gratitude, our whole lives will be happier and more positive.
How can we implement and maintain these practices of gratitude? The TAP App is a great way to keep on top of gratitude! When we download it onto our phones, we will be carrying the power of gratitude in our pockets. It will constantly remind us to be grateful; it will keep gratitude at the forefront of our minds, helping us to fulfil those gratitude to-do lists, engaging with others in such a positive way, either on a personal level or an organisational level. It will be good for our own mental health and the wellbeing of those around us!
So, let's start the New Year gratefully, and make gratitude part of our daily life. Let's thank even more in 2024!