Let’s talk about gratitude.

I recently read Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown, a fascinating book and highly recommended!

While so many chapters are interesting, the one on gratitude caught my attention. It made me wonder about my gratitude practice. I have done gratitude journaling in the past, and regularly think of things I’m grateful for, but not daily by any means and not on a longer term (just in difficult periods in life 😉).

I since came across this topic of gratitude in other books and articles. These are my main take-aways about what practicing gratitude offers:

🔥It helps us focus on the positive and specific things in life which tend to take for granted. A positive feedback you got. A nice chat with a friend or someone you met at an event. And if you live in Belgium having tea on the terrace in the sunshine will definitely appear on your list! It’s about the small things.

🔥Focusing on the positive simply gives less airtime to the negative. Studies have shown that the lack of negative thoughts and words (not necessarily the abundance of positive words), increases your mental health.

🔥Realising our goals and enjoying the journey becomes easier as we don’t get pulled down by setbacks or challenges.

🔥As a result of practicing gratitude, the brain may become more sensitive to the experience of gratitude in the future, which may contribute to improved mental health.

🔥Practicing gratitude appears to be beneficial to our relationships. For instance through appreciating help we get and then later reciprocating that help, expressing our positive emotions to others as well as obviously focusing on what we appreciate in people.

In se, a gratitude practice creates a positive boost and deep reservoir to draw from.

Well, that made me give it a try! For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal every day, and I like it so far. One major shift is feeling calmer. 

I’m curious, what about you? Do you practice gratitude? What change have you experienced?