Gratitude is not just an emotion or an attitude. Gratitude is an intentional act to recognise the positive aspects of our lives and the things that bring us joy and fulfilment. Gratitude does not have to be reserved for the big events of our lives, like “I’m grateful for the love of my partner”, or “I’m grateful for being able to provide for my family”. Gratitude can be expressed for even the smallest of events “I’m grateful for the comforting feeling of the wind on my face”, “I’m grateful for the warm water running through my hands as I am washing the dishes.”
When you purposefully engage in deliberate acts of gratitude, you literally change the molecular structure of your brain. As soon as you start experiencing gratitude, your brain begins to secrete dopamine, the hormone responsible for feelings of reward, pleasure, wellbeing. Your brain absolutely loves that, so it will prompt you to get another hit of dopamine by urging you to perform the same act. The more you are grateful for, the more you will find to be grateful for.
A very simple way of practising gratitude is by making a pact with a friend. Commit to each other that for one week, you will text each other 3 things that you are grateful for, however big or small. After the week is done, get together and exchange the feelings of your experience. This is a surefire way hardwiring the mindset of gratefulness in you.
So, what are the 3 things that you are grateful for today (however big or small)?