Get your happiness going...
Today you are in for a special treat as we dive into a ritual that is very dear and close to my heart: the powerful practice of gratefulness!
But before we start, let me tell you how grateful I am for you! You see, without your love and support, I could never do what I was put on this earth to do which is: nurturing my passion for beauty, nature and holistic health, being creative, and taking care of others and the planet! So THANK YOU for being part of my dream. Now on to our subject ;)
Did you know that according to positive psychology, research shows that gratitude can:
Improve your physical health. People who exhibit gratitude report fewer aches and pains, a general feeling of health, more regular exercise, and more frequent checkups with their doctor than those who don’t.
Improve your psychological health. Grateful people enjoy higher well-being and happiness and suffer from reduced symptoms of depression.
Enhance empathy. Those who show their gratitude are less likely to seek revenge against others and more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, with sensitivity and empathy.
Improve your sleep. Practicing gratitude regularly can help you sleep longer and better.
Enhance your self-esteem. People who are grateful have increased self-esteem, partly due to their ability to appreciate other peoples’ accomplishments.
Increase in mental strength. Grateful people have an advantage in overcoming trauma and enhanced resilience, helping them to bounce back from highly stressful situations. (*Morin, 2014).
WOW, that is really powerful stuff. And believe me when I say that I've been practicing this art for quite a while now and that I truly believe in its potency to amplify our happiness and inner well being.
How to practice gratefulness?
The Gratitude Jar exercise.
The gratitude jar is a stunningly simple exercise that can have profound effects on your well-being and outlook. It only requires a few ingredients: a jar (a box can also work); a ribbon, stickers, glitter, or whatever else you like to decorate the jar; paper and a pen or pencil for writing your gratitude notes; and gratitude!
Examples of things to be grateful for include:
- Kind words or deeds
- Unexpected gifts
- Visiting grandparents or other family members
- A new pet
- Good health
- School accomplishments
- A new baby brother or sister
- A raise at work or a new job
The act of thinking about what we are grateful for reminds us of the good things in life. We can then practice acting this way toward others.
1: Find a jar or box.
2: Decorate the jar however you wish. You can tie a ribbon around the jar’s neck, put stickers on the sides, use clear glue and glitter to make it sparkle, paint it, keep it simple, or do whatever else you can think of to make it a pleasing sight.
3: This is the most important step, which will be repeated every day. Think of at least three things throughout your day that you are grateful for. It can be something as benign as a coffee at your favorite place, or as grand as the love of your significant other or dear friend. Do this every day, write down what you are grateful for on little slips of paper and fill the jar.
Over time, you will find that you have a jar full of a myriad of reasons to be thankful for what you have and enjoy the life you are living. It also will cultivate a practice of expressing thanks.
If you are ever feeling especially down and need a quick pick-me-up, take a few notes out of the jar to remind yourself of who, and what is good in your life.
How to Use Your Gratitude Jar
Journaling is great, but it’s not for everyone. Some people just don’t like journaling. In this case, a gratitude jar is a brilliant alternative because it simply takes less work to receive the benefits.
When you’re having a down day (let’s face it, we all have them), you can pull notes out of your jar to remind yourself of all of the blessings in your life. You can then think about how you are supported and how everything will work out. This can boost your mood on bad days and elevate the good days even more.
Try using a gratitude jar for 30 days and see how it turns things around for you. If you’re brave you might even go for a whole year of gratitude.
To get the most out of a gratitude jar, create a daily routine, and commit to adding new notes each morning or night.
For those recovering from addiction or mental health issues, A gratitude jar is a wonderful tool to put this into practice any time, and especially when creating a fresh start at the beginning of the new year.
Let me know how you like the exercise and send me pictures on your gratitude jar on Instagram with the tag #gratefulnesswildgrace to win a chance to receive a free mini kit of WILD GRACE 100% botanical perfumes.