• Hannah

Gratitude - Feel Thankful to Feel Better

Be grateful for what you have. There are so many people in the world worse off than you.”

While this is a common response to someone who is expressing that they’re having a hard time of things and no doubt it is true in some form, I don’t find that this expression is particularly helpful when trying to change your perspective from feeling negative to getting back on your game.

Feel Thankful to Feel Better

Perhaps you’re wondering why I’m talking about Gratitude today. I think there are a few reasons why it is playing an important role in my life at the moment. Firstly, working with the Wild Home team reminds me daily of how grateful I am to be in the position of doing something that completely fills me up with joy. Every. Single. Day. We get to work alongside incredibly talented people who are showing up to make a difference to their own lives, their families and those around them. It’s a totally mind-blowing, humbling experience.

Secondly, with access to a wide range of news and media, we are all too aware of the political, environmental and social issues around the world. Even reading The News for two minutes has me feeling very grateful for having the freedom to walk along a peaceful beach, get a cup of tea, see friends and make choices about how I want to live my life without feeling too constrained by outside influences.

Thirdly, and the most important to me personally I suppose; dropping into gratitude daily is a complete mental game changer.

I promise. It’s immense.

So if I go back to the earlier quote at the beginning of this blog post:

Be grateful for what you have. There are so many people in the world worse off than you.”

This can be a good wake up call if you have been dwelling in negativity, but usually when someone hands you this phrase, you aren’t in the mood to be able to do anything useful with it. It can feel a bit intangible and hard to grapple with. However, the essence of this phrase is correct: if you can shift your thinking into a more positive outlook, you will feel better, even if it’s just a little bit better. From there, it’s like a snowball effect and it becomes easier to switch into positivity.

Before I share my two daily practices (that hopefully will be helpful in some way), I will tell you about when the realisation of just how powerful Gratitude can be, hit me...

A year or so ago, we were travelling over a number of days. It was like a ’Planes, Trains and Automobiles,’ type affair. We were going to be sleeping in a different bed, in a different country, every night, for 5 nights and obviously, travelling lots in between. I am usually a massive home-girl and can’t sleep in any other bed than my own. However, on this trip, I had to make sure to sleep well each night; it was really important to get as much rest as possible in order to do all of the tasks we had to do in the day time, not to mention keep up with the relentless travelling. I’m not sure how it came about but on the first night, when we finally got to our tiny little box of a hotel room and before going to sleep, I sank into the pillow and sheets (and believe me, we’re not talking 1000 thread-count, palatial hotel bed here if you’re wondering)! I just felt how grateful I was to not be moving. I wasn’t on the go, I had nowhere to be until our early-morning wake-up call and all I had to do was lie down. I was so grateful for the pillow underneath my head, our own space and even the fact that I was finally in my favourite pyjamas that I fell asleep within minutes.

Each night, I repeated this same practice and each night, I fell straight to sleep. Sure I was tired, maybe I was just more chilled out than normal, but this was a totally new experience for me and the significance wasn’t lost.

Since discovering the difference such a small shift in thinking gives me, I have made it my mission to remember to make a point of feeling grateful every day. My outlook is lifted and negative thought patterns are stopped in their tracks and diverted.

So, I encourage you to give Gratitude a little try. You are already a positive and wonderful human but we can all have those moments, those days when we feel ‘meh’ or even completely overwhelmed.

If this is a new thing for you, maybe give these ideas a go (these are my daily go-tos):

1. Wear a piece of jewellery that you don’t normally wear and that you are likely to fiddle with in the day. I like to choose a pendant or bracelets, nothing too expensive (I mean, it can be, of course) but I prefer a whimsical, fun item that already makes me feel joyful by wearing it. Every time you put it on, take it off or catch yourself fiddling with it, think of something that you are grateful for. Sometimes it can be a massive thing like ‘my house keeps me warm and protects me from the cold, wet weather’ or it can be tiny but still hugely significant, for example, ‘the snowdrops I saw on my walk, the text from my sister, cuddling my dog’. If it makes you light up within, then you’re on the right track.

Some of the Wild Homies who aren’t into bracelets and necklaces (I mean, most of us are to be fair and Amit’s collection of friendship bracelets is staggering), instead they carry a special stone in their pocket and apply the same principles to it.

2. Commit to a daily practice. This is a lovely chance to spend a few quiet moments by yourself (although saying this, my dog pretty much always comes to join me when it’s meditation time - I think he likes the soothing music)! I like to use the ‘Insight Timer meditation app for music or a guided gratitude meditation (this isn't an affiliate link and I only use the free version but it is genuinely great). Giving yourself the space to feel the gratitude, as well as think it, is a beautiful and uplifting way to either start or end your day. Even if you’re not a seasoned meditator, I urge you to give it a go. Make it a special time, light a candle, make a cup of tea, wrap yourself in a blanket; do whatever makes you feel good. It’s known as a non-negotiable in our house - we have to make the time for it as it makes such a difference to how we feel!

Well my friend, you are amazing if you have managed to stay with me throughout this post. I am very grateful for your support (see - gratitude right there!) and I hope it helps, even if it has only got you thinking...

I wish you a wonderful week ahead and please subscribe below if you want to be notified about future posts. x


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