Why gratitude? Especially now, with our lives being literally turned upside down? Everything we do now that used to be our normal is having to be relearned, rethought, rewashed. That being said, I say there is no better time for gratitude.
The definition of gratitude is being glad that something has or hasn’t happened; that something or someone exists; experiencing thanks. I started practicing gratitude about 10 years ago regularly and it has transformed my life.
Gratitude, when practiced regularly, makes us happier and healthier, and improves our sleep and relationships. These are just a few of the many scientifically proven benefits of gratitude. It is such a simple exercise, yet when practiced creates powerful transformative results. Cultivating a habit of looking for the things to be grateful for on a daily basis creates new neuropathways in the brain that are strengthened the more we practice being grateful, or for that matter whatever we attend to. It’s like physical exercise for the brain—a process called neuroplasticity.
Over time, gratitude becomes embodied as a natural habit, resulting in a more positive outlook overall, even in times such as these. We cannot be grateful for terrible things such as this pandemic, but we can be grateful for each moment as an opportunity to learn, grow, and find a new way of being in the world. This is resilience.
Look around you at all the kindness, innovation, and creativity. We are stretching ourselves to find another way of not just surviving but thriving. People are going back to the basics: What is it that I really need? What’s really important? We’re sharing deep feelings with loved ones and noticing the things that are truly important in life.
My challenge to you is to find at least one thing you are grateful for each day for 30 days. It takes about 30 days to start a new habit. If you miss a day, no worries, continue on. While writing it down, recognize and feel the feelings it brings into your heart. You can do this whenever, but remembering these things before bed helps with sleep. If you would like to share your gratitude, join me on a campaign to send love and hope out into the world, one postcard at a time. Click here, and help spread the positivity.
This too shall pass, and when it does, my hope is that the world will be better for it. It will be if we hang onto what we’ve discovered to be the truly important things, and be grateful for these things always. As Helen Keller wrote, “The best and most beautiful things in the world are not to be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the (grateful) heart.”
Natalie Hoerner, a graduate of CiWPP, is the founder of Gifts of Gratitude and is licensed in facilitating the Inspire Your Ideal Workshop. She also received training at the Sedona Women’s Institute to facilitate workshops and retreats for women. Natalie resides in Orchard Park, NY, with her husband and is a mom to three adult children. Her mission is for her efforts to serve as a beacon of light, hope, love, and peace in the world. You can learn more about Natalie on her website: Gifts-Of-Gratitude.com.