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The Practice of Gratitude

A Habit Worth Honing


Being grateful not only changes your perspective but can also lift your mood. The practice of gratitude is a concept that has been sited throughout history, it is part of world religions and is a topic of interest in philosophy to science to the world of wellness.


Gratitude - The word comes from the Latin word gratus, which means “pleasing” or “thankful.”

 

Feeling grateful is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

 

Finding Gratitude 

I remember back in 2021 when I first discovered gratitude as a practice, and I must admit, I did not really get it. I thought, I am grateful for the things I have; my children, my husband, having something to look forward to... But then I started the daily habit of writing down three things I was grateful for and then came the understanding that gratitude as a practice makes us look at the smaller things; the cup of tea my husband makes me in the morning, the napping toddler on my lap, a cuddle with my dog, a sunrise or sunset, my legs that allowed me to take a walk, some really deep breaths that fill my lungs, a delicious slice of homemade cake, time spent with people I love, laughter, an opportunity to express myself, a safe and warm home, slow family time, a cow and calf in a field at sunset that I just had to pull over and photograph, because wow, what a fascinating world we live in.

 



 

I am not saying practicing gratitude is going to equal a happy life, but I can say that I am able to appreciate something happy in each day. I am also kinder and more compassionate because of the habit of gratitude I have created. I do not write a list of what I am grateful for daily anymore, it just comes to me throughout the day or when I am lying in bed reflecting on my day. 


It is Science!

Not only beneficial and beautiful but the practice of gratitude is also backed by neuroscience! 

PositivePsychology.com reports that - The effects of gratitude, when practiced daily can be almost the same as medications. It produces a feeling of long-lasting happiness and contentment, the physiological basis of which lies at the neurotransmitter level.


When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good.’ They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside. 


By consciously practicing gratitude everyday, we can help these neural pathways to strengthen themselves and ultimately create a permanent grateful and positive nature within ourselves.



Getting Started 

To kick things off with the practise of gratitude I would highly recommend a daily gratitude journal, in physical form or on your phone. If you have little ones why not try doing it together at the end of the day, we love the Meditation for Kids app which includes a gratitude journal amongst other fantastic features. Meditation for Kids on the App Store


I thought it would be nice to wrap this up by sharing three people I am grateful for in terms of my motherhood journey so far -

 

Dr Gabor Mate

The man that introduced me to the world of child psychology and the benefits of healing for not just you but your children and family too. Addiction Expert, Speaker and Best-selling Author Dr. Gabor Maté (drgabormate.com)

 

Elspeth Alexandra

For all things women’s health and fitness – I am eternally grateful for all the knowledge and wisdom Elspeth has shared with me and so is my pelvic floor! Fitness for Women - Elspeth Alexandra | Edinburgh, Scotland & Online (edinburghwomensfitness.co.uk)

 

The Brilliant Birth Club

And I could not write about gratitude for The Brilliant Birth Club without mentioning how grateful I am to have crossed paths with the brilliant Lara-Jo. A hypnobirthing coach turned friend. Came for the hypnobirthing and have stayed for the empowering content!


Gratitude to you for taking the time to read this ❤️


Written by Natalie Florance.

Former client of The Brilliant Birth Club, mum of three, lover of being near the sea, all things food and, deep and meaningful conversations. Trying to slow down in this fast paced world…

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