Gratitude is powerful, it’s one of the most underestimated features of our complex little brains. Simply acknowledging the things we already have, instead of the things we do not, can help us feel more fulfillment in our lives. I want to shift, just for a moment, into all the things that are going right. Acknowledge the good, and try to eliminate the space in your mind for the bad. And if you don’t feel like you can find the good, try taking a big deep breath, right now, and jot down a few things you’re grateful for.
“Gratefulness for what is there is one of the most powerful tools for creating what is not yet there. What does gratefulness mean? It means you appreciate what is. You value, you give attention to, you honor whatever is here at this moment.” -Eckhart Tolle
Yes, Mr. Tolle! Practicing gratitude is where abundance lives. Where happiness lies. In times of struggle, it’s especially hard, but critically important to consciously think about just how much we have, even in the midst of the mess. Seek, my friends, and you will find.
And I mean, can you really argue with science?
Greater Good Magazine (out of the University of California, Berkeley), reports that gratitude writing/journaling “can be beneficial not just for healthy, well-adjusted individuals, but also for those who struggle with mental health concerns.” In fact, according to the study, practicing gratitude on top of receiving psychological counseling carries greater benefits than counseling alone, even when that gratitude practice is brief.
And that’s not all. When these savvy researchers dug deeper into the results, they found indications of how gratitude might actually work on our minds and bodies. While not definitive, they determined that gratitude can unshackle us from toxic emotion and have lasting effects on the brain. They also found that the effects of gratitude writing take time–which is why we call it a practice!
Write it down, make it real!
You don’t need a journal to practice gratitude, but I encourage you to get it on paper when you can. If you’re looking for a place to start, Dr. Jody Gratitude Journals are made with love and filled with beautiful images, quotes and prompts that will remind you about the power of reconnection. Tell me what’s good!