The Coalis Blog

The Power of Practicing Gratitude

With Spring arriving, the pubs reopening and a vaccination programme on track, we are all feeling much better.

But are we really grateful for all this positive news? Are we showing and practicing gratitude in our lives?

Gratitude is something very simple and yet very powerful. Being grateful means showing our appreciation for life and being thankful for what we have.

Psychology today describes gratitude as thankfulness, “as the expression of appreciation for what one has. It is a recognition of value, independent of monetary worth. Spontaneously generated from within, it is an affirmation of goodness and warmth“.

Studies show that specific areas of the brain are involved in experiencing and expressing gratitude. It has also been demonstrated that individuals who practice gratitude feel happier, more optimistic and more altruistic than others. It also has a positive impact on health.

We should all be expressing gratitude daily. But it’s not always that simple to do in real life and a lot of people feel awkward at first and struggle to really think of things they’re grateful for. It takes practice to make it really work for you.

Gratitude book
Gratitude book

How do you practice gratitude?

You can start by keeping a journal of the things you are grateful for. Daily, write down at least three things that you really appreciated. Nothing is too small to be recorded in your gratitude book: a bird singing in a tree, a good glass of wine, a call from an old friend.

You can also write a gratitude letter to another person. Even if you keep this letter with you and decide not to send it, its writing will have a positive impact on you.

You can practice gratitude with your work colleagues by showing them appreciation, thanking them for their work, for the effort they are making or the way they keep smiling even in challenging or stressful situations.

You will find that you are using encouraging words and focusing more on the positives. The results are not instantaneous and regular practice is required. But it will increase your well-being, reduce your stress and anxiety levels and help you see how lucky you really are, even for the smaller things that bring you joy. It will generate a positive team spirit and increase everyone’s morale and motivation.

Our brains are wired to protect us. They are focussing on what could go wrong, identifying dangers and threats around us. By practicing gratitude regularly, your brain will start noticing, not only the danger around you, but also what you are appreciating in life. 

It’s all about a change of perspective. Decide in the morning when waking up, that your day will be amazing, and it will be a wonderful day. If you start the day thinking it’s going to be awful, it probably will turn out to be a disappointing day. So, let’s focus on what we are blessed with and show our gratitude. This will make us much stronger when dealing with the less positive events in life.

I am writing this blog, grateful for the blue sky and the chance I have to be able to share this with you. And this is one of the things I encourage everyone around me to work on, as this helps achieve success in all areas of life.

19 April 2021
by Veronique Salle-Fertat

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