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Why Gratitude is Powerful & How You Can Practise It

I feel like, as humans, we have a natural tendency to always expect more. Or to want something that's bigger and better, and maybe more extravagant than what we already have. It's not a bad thing to want better for yourself. But when you let these thoughts consume you so much you begin to not live in the present moment, it could be a sign that you're not appreciating what's right in front of you.

Thinking your life will be better if you move to that city or get to know that person, may prove to be more destructive than you think. Instead, you should focus on the present moment, because how are you supposed to nurture your future if you aren't looking after your present!? Gratitude is a powerful thing that has the ability to completely shift your mindset. And doing small practises daily can help you get to a place where you focus more on, and be more comfortable with the present moment. I don't want to come across as an expert on this because I'm definitely not. But it's a process and journey that I'm on, and I hope I can inspire just one person to join me!

Gratitude is important because, as I've said, it helps you focus on the present moment. Living in the present moment is almost like a sweet spot, because obsessing over the past brings me sadness, to be quite honest, while thinking about the future fills me with anxiety. When you live in the present, the now, you allow yourself to look at what's in front of you and you realise that there are things right here that you can celebrate or be more happy about. For example, it sounds so simple, but I'm alive, right? You who's reading this right now, are also alive! If that's not something to be grateful for, I don't know what is. If you're reading this with internet right now, you have a TON of things to be grateful for. Another thing I'm grateful for: I have a great support system of friends and family that I can turn to if I need help or advice. 

Practising gratitude comes in many different ways. One way you can do this is by writing down everything you're grateful for. Stick it somewhere you'll check regularly, like in your phone or on a post-it note stuck on your bedroom mirror. Seeing this everyday is going to help you block out negative emotions and people from your life, because you'll want to focus on the goodness that comes with seeing all the things you're grateful for. 

You can also keep a gratitude journal that you write in everyday. This will force you to think of something to write about, and by doing this you can realise that you truly have things in your present life that bring you happiness.

A more creative idea is to get an empty jar. On small pieces of paper, write down one thing you're grateful for and fill your jar until it's full. On days you're not feeling so well, take a paper out and read what you've written down. Over time, you'll see that there are so many things for you to appreciate in your life right now.

You can also spread gratitude to other people. Call someone you haven't spoken to in a long time and let them know you're thinking of them. Give out genuine compliments without expecting one back. You can also show that you appreciate your friends and family, not just by speech but by your actions too! Make someone a present, or do them a favour and just show that you are thankful for their presence in your life. Acts like this will make the other person feel important and loved by you, so what's to lose!? 

There are so many benefits to gratitude that I can't list them all! Have a read of this and see for yourself what adopting an attitude of gratitude can do for you. Don't save this for just times of the year when you're expected to be grateful for things, but make it a daily habit to practise gratitude by writing in a gratitude journal or complimenting someone.

Your past is history; there's nothing you can do to change what has passed. And the future hasn't come yet, so why cause yourself stress and anxiety by obsessing over it? Cross each bridge as it comes to you and try not to obsess over the things that don't matter. There are so many other things in your life that do!

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