Gratitude is not an emotion we frequently discuss.
It is a sentiment that we usually reflect upon at Christmas or New Year; times we consider fresh starts, and the chance to learn from the previous year. But why is this the only time that we take the opportunity to sit back and think upon all we have done, and all that we’re thankful for?
World Gratitude Day is celebrated on September 21st, so today, we’re going to discuss the reasons why this emotion is left in the back seat, and how to appreciate it more.
Ironically, we normally take gratitude for granted, it is regularly short-lived and conditional. Often, we have no issues with feeling a sense of gratitude when thinking about those who have less, what is much harder is feeling truly grateful when comparing yourself to those who we perceive to have more. I’m sure we can all relate to the feeling of being thankful for our family and friends, and yet also comparing ourselves to others we see online who appear to have a far more exciting social life than we do. This is where we must separate gratitude and contentment, two emotions that can be easily confused in our 100mph life-style.
Contentment needs to be found so that we can live with a sense of gratitude, contentment is defined as a state of happiness and satisfaction, whereas gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Finding gratitude in common places is not difficult when you start finding joy in the small things instead of holding out for big achievements. If this separation is attained, you can live both content and grateful for what you have. Marelisa Fabrega perfectly summed up the complication we have with it, stating; ‘Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good even in unpleasant situations.’
So, whilst it may be hard to take a quiet moment in your day to reflect on what you have without comparing yourself to someone else, it is an important step into living a more fulfilled and content lifestyle. This will manifest itself in your work and personal life, making you more productive and efficient. To help with this, we have a calendar for October, something that you can follow throughout the month to assist you in your self gratitude.
“When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you” Lao Tzu
- Think of one thing you are grateful for right now – notice how that makes you feel.
- Think of the person who makes you laugh the most in your life – thank them.
- Name a part of your body you are thankful for, so often we are at war with ourselves, we should take the time to realise what we have.
- Think of someone who has been kind to you, it can even be a stranger.
- Give someone an honest and sincere compliment.
- Let a mentor know what their advice meant to you.
- Show gratitude by taking the time to listen to someone who needs to talk.
- Call a faraway friend or relative.
- Make a list of any new skills you have learnt.
- Have your favourite food just because you can!
- Complement someone at work.
- Forgive someone.
- Take a day off from technology.
- Look at pictures of the best holiday you’ve ever taken.
- Share your favourite quote about gratitude online (and tag us!).
- Take a photo of something that inspires gratitude
- Listen to your favourite song.
- Think of someone who inspires you.
- Set out 3 future goals.
- Do something you love today!
- Invite someone for a coffee.
- Check-in on your elderly relatives.
- Spend an hour doing something to reduce stress in your life.
- Get some exercise by going for a walk somewhere you don’t usually go.
- Donate to the food bank.
- Write a nice comment on your friends Instagram post.
- Buy a homeless person some food.
- Call your Mum or Dad.
- Bake something you enjoy!
- Send a text to a friend.