Gratitude is an extremely important part of mental wellbeing. Robert Emmons, one of the world’s leading gratitude researchers, defined gratitude as “a felt sense of wonder, thankfulness and appreciation for life.”
It is not simply about offering thanks to someone (although that is still important), it is an awareness of gratitude on a bigger scale. It is about shifting your mindset and having an appreciation for life.
In her new book, Grow Your Own Happiness, Deborah Smith teaches us that practicing gratitude and really taking time to give thanks, will open a whole new level of awareness and positive feelings in your live and those around you.
Try it out with this quick and easy gratitude exercise.
Think About Thanks
Pause now for a moment and think of a time when you felt a sense of awe, wonder and thankfulness. That moment could have been when you noticed a flower blooming in your garden, you went to a beautiful place on holiday, you looked up at the night sky full of stars, you held your newborn child or felt love for your pet. It might even have been listening to the sound of the birds singing in the morning.
Notice how you feel when you picture it or hear it clearly in your mind, how it shifts your mood. Write down how you feel. Now imagine how it would be to have that feeling on a regular basis – think about the impact on your life, your experience of life as a whole.
This exercise taps into something on a subtle level, an opening of the heart and mind, of your awareness, encouraging you to be mindful to all that is around you when that feeling could arise.
More gratitude and happiness exercises in Deborah Smith’s Grow Your Own Happiness