7 Reasons Why We Start Our Day With Gratitude
As told by Jackie Te-Aroha.
Zade and I have kept a gratitude journal for about a year. Every evening we would note 3 things we were thankful for in a small hardcover book and then discuss them. Initially the most prevalent themes were our health and safety; and that of our friends and families. They were our pets, homes, and new experiences. As we continued writing our 3 things every day, we reached a point where we were appreciating the smaller moments of joy. Things like “riding the slide at the big kids park” and “clean cupboards”.
More recently we’ve dropped the private journal style opting for an open approach via our Instagram stories. These are our top 7 reasons why we continue to practice gratitude daily and also why we think you should join us.
1. It’s free.
It doesn’t debit from you’re savings account, nor does it require you to insert a pin number. Heck, you can even do it from bed! Its one of the few activities you can accomplish within 5 minutes from anywhere in the world at any time.
2. It primes your thinking to be positive.
We all know what its like to ‘wake up on the wrong side of the bed’ falling into the mental trap of negativity. But when you start your day with gratitude your sub-consciously more aware of things that are mirroring your positivity. In the same way that you’ll continue to see that same camera or shoe brand that you’ve been researching; you’ll continue to see current blessings after being thankful for past ones.
3. It forces you to be present.
How do I feel right now? In this moment? But more importantly what or who do I have to thank for making me feel this way? We could even be feeling proud of our own actions. It’s important that we not only thank external forces but also take time to acknowledge our own qualities. Starting the sentence with ‘I am grateful’ will automatically structure your thinking on the here and now.
4. It connects you to the power of intention.
Intentions are often likened to seeds as they are the first recognisable elements to all that we create. Like all seeds, they need to be planted and nurtured before they can bear fruit. Gratitude is the identification of the seeds that we metaphorically plant every time we give thanks. The more we practice, the more we plant and the more abundant our lives become.
5. Its a positive mental stimulus.
When you practice gratitude daily, naturally you will always try to find something new to be thankful for. Its a healthy competitiveness that we have with ourselves. We know its completely OK to feel gratitude for the same thing twice yet we challenge ourselves to look harder, go deeper and this introspection we find had been a powerful mindset enhancer.
6. It helps you feel compassion.
Its easy to take for granted the ‘luxuries’ we become accustomed to in western societies such as ducted heating, public healthcare or even the choice of multiple kinds of milk and milk alternatives. Until we consider ourselves lucky to have these privileges we cannot possibly consider those that don’t have them. Feeling compassion for another human is a positive emotion that shouldn’t be restricted to family and friends in unfortunate situations but should be expanded to those that we are yet to cross paths with.
7. It improves your relationships.
Sharing your gratitude with you partner, family or friends helps you understand the world from their eyes. It opens a window of opportunity for conversations that allow you to explore what makes them feel appreciated, excited and thankful. Once you know these things it will be easier for you to identify or even bring about situations that evoke these positive emotions. All good relationships are built on love, encouragement and support and we’ve found that sharing our moments of gratitude supports this.
Gratitude has changed the way we navigate ourselves in this often turbulent world and whilst we can’t control all that we come into contact with we can control our minds, bodies and spirits one day at a time.