Reasons to be grateful
February saw Storm Eunice, Franklin and Gladys bring severe gales to the UK, a tidal surge, gusts up to 122mph and driving rain and most of that all in one day. I do hope you survived relatively unscathed and took the opportunity to hunker down if you could.
I got away with a sagging fence panel and no water for 18 hours. As everything returned to normal and the water came back on, it made me realise how much I take for granted being able to turn the tap on and have fresh running water to drink, to quickly rinse my hands, to cook with, to wash my clothes, to clean my pots and pans, to shower and clean my teeth, to flush to the loo…
I thought of those who were without electricity which meant not being able to flick a switch on and have light, no central heating to keep them warm, no ovens and microwaves to cook food with, no internet or television, no way to charge their phones, no connection with the outside world to see what was happening..
It’s only when we have something taken away we realise how lucky we are, how much we take these basic things for granted
and that they all have a knock on effect within our daily lives. And that these basic things are not so basic after all.
And now as the war in Ukraine rages on and we watch the unbelievable devastation and horror as people flee their homes; as buildings, power and water supplies are destroyed, all from the safety of our warm, cosy sitting rooms – again we realise just how incredibly lucky we are.
A major part of the work I do with my clients is looking at the positives rather than the negatives and reframing how we view what is going on around us. When we are in a state of anxiety, stress or depression it’s seems almost impossible to find anything to be grateful or positive about. Our brain protects us by seeing everything from the worst case scenario, if we are think the worst we will be fully prepared to deal with it. It’s our flight/fight/freeze reaction being fully activated on a constant basis.
BUT…even in the darkest, most anxious moments there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for, especially now.
3 WAYS TO HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE:
1. Keep a Gratitude / Positivity Diary
Every evening write down all the things you are grateful for, or all the positive things that happened to you that day. You can’t feel two emotions at the same time, so as you write these down you are consciously revisiting these events, ideas or experiences and feeling those positive emotions as you end your day. The more you do this the more you will notice positivity around you.
2. Show Appreciation to Others
Take the time to thank others, show appreciation and express gratitude for even the smallest things. It creates a positive emotion within yourself as well as the other person and acknowledges gratitude for whatever small little thing they did or said. We can be so quick to point out what people have not done or the negatives but rarely do we say thank you or express gratitude for the good things. And notice how this positive reinforcement creates even more positive behaviour.
3. Find Gratitude even in your Challenges
Gratitude is not only about being thankful for positive experiences. Sometimes thinking about negative or difficult situations can help you to really focus on what you have to be thankful for. Dig a little deeper into some of your own past experiences and try to figure out how they have helped shape you into the person you are today. We can often look back on a difficult situation and realise that because of that we made choices or achieved something that we would never have done otherwise.
So what are you grateful for? And remember it doesn’t have to be the big things, the small things are a good place to start.