13 September 2018

The attitude of gratitude

Jumper from George at Asda - buy it here 

'Thanks very much"

We're a society that says thank you so much yet 2018 has made me think a lot about what is truly means to be grateful. We say 'thanks' so flippantly that it has lost its meaning in so many ways. My biggest annoyance in life is when people are not grateful for what you have brought to the table - whether that has been emotional or physical support. It's also becoming harder in life to be thankful as we place so much value on physical things such as presents at birthday or Christmas time rather than the time that person has spent with you.

Recently when I have opened my Instagram to questions, there here been lots of 'How do you stay positive' comments. There is one thing that gets me through everyday to smile at least once. The attitude of gratitude doesn't come easily but you need to focus each day for five minutes for what has been great about your day. It's something I started doing a few years ago when I reached total burnout point. I was starting a new university course, working, blogging, singing plus two beautiful people in my life passed away. It seems strange to talk about the attitude of gratitude when you put it into the context of someone no longer being here but in the days after, remembering the things they brought to my life to enrich it brought me so much comfort.

There's a few things hat I try to think about when I'm trying to think more positively. They are simple things that we often overlook when a cloud of negativity comes over you. 

Did someone give you their time today? I truly think it's the greatest gift you can give anyone. I love nothing more than someone coming to my house for a cup of coffee & a catch up. That investment takes so little but means so much. So whether it's a 10 minute chat in work with a colleague or a mad night out with your BFF's, think about the time someone has given you that day and be thankful for that interaction. 

Your gifts
This is something that has taken me YEARS to appreciate. I find that as a society we are so incredibly hard on ourselves - I know this more than anyone! Learn to appreciate your gifts and talents. Not everyone has a gift like being a concert pianist or being super good at maths. My gifts are being a kind person, being thoughtful and a good communicator. Gifts aren't about being the smartest or the prettiest. It's about how you use what you have to enrich your life and the lives of others whether that is through your job, hobby or at home. Recognising when you've used your gift in your day is a great way to remind yourself 'Good job!'.

Something I find really hard is if I am excited for something and other people don't match my energy. If you've spent ages working on something hard & no one says thank you, your wee soul can feel let down. I despise the phrase 'Self praise is no praise' because realistically, if you aren't hearing it from somewhere else you need to give yourself a pat on the back! This links back to the gifts point. It doesn't need to be a cause for celebrate all the time but really reflect on what you have done perhaps weekly - did you step out of your comfort zone? Did you make it through a tough week. Don't be hard on yourself - you've got this!

The attitude of gratitude is about realising that things aren't perfect but that you are ok. We all have rocky times (even me who can seem so positive all the time). Time, your gifts and praise = the attitude of gratitude. Practice makes perfect so don't expect to feel super overnight. Writing down your points can help plus if you do it every day, it can show you how to turn a bad week into a good one pretty quickly.