Sep 30, 2021

The purpose of this article is to describe the benefits of Gratitude for your own wellbeing and for that of your relationships.  I will also describe ways of habitualising gratitude into your life through brief writing.

Gratitude is about training your brain, through all your senses, to pay attention to particular things in your world that promote your wellbeing, happiness and human connections.

Every day, in your perceptual field there are literally billions of things happening but the vast majority you pay no attention to because there is just way too much data  coming in through all your senses to your brain to be stored. Your brain selects what data to store and process according to how relevant it is to your belief system. Your beliefs are the software in this system. If you have a fear of dogs "dogs are dangerous" you senses will be vigilant to dog sightings, sounds, smells but you may barely notice cats.  Cats may be irrelevant, not noticed.

What beliefs do you have that have created a perceptual filter for you ?

BELIEF "I usually get ripped off"  (you will notice dishonesty much more than honesty)

BELIEF" my world is dangerous and sad" (you will notice all the bad news in the world and very little of the good)

BELIEF"everyone else seems to have it easier than me" (you will notice all your friends on Facebook who seem to have a better life than you)

The way we perceive the world and everything around us has a direct effect on our emotions, thoughts, actions, and behaviour to see situations, patterns , objects and how they relate with each other...

To live life gratefully is like installing software in your perceptual system  to notice the things to be grateful about in your life, retraining your brain to see relevance in all that brings moments of happiness, meaning, belonging and connection. The benefits of gratitude can be multiplied if you record all that you are grateful for, for example in a Gratitude Diary. With a diary you can see that gratitude can be a part of every day, that there is always and always will be something to be grateful about.

You are probably thinking, how am I supposed to be grateful because I have "bad health"and "no friends" however gratitude can make these situations better as well sometimes transformationally. If you feel really stuck with this, maybe angry, see a counsellor.

Living gratefully is much more about slowing down, sharpening the senses and living in the moment. Noticing a lot of little positive things can get us through the tough times.

Every diary entry can be different. You don't need to repeat every thing, every day.

Think of experiences, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches. Think of people, conversations, opportunities, successes, big things, small things. Be specific.

You may feel that you can't commit to the time or that this is all too sentimental but how cool might it feel to be so much more fulfilled by appreciating whats already in your world that you have barely noticed.

As you write your diary you will noticing people in your life who have helped you on your journey, shown empathy, made you laugh, supported you when times were tough.  From gratitude grows appreciation, you give thanks, maybe send a card. Relationships  deepen, trust grows.

Your Gratitude Diary could be part of your existing Journal / Diary see below

Please hit the contact button below if you have any questions or comments.

Journaling : 24/7 therapy on call
The purpose of this article is to show the purpose and the benefits of keeping a journal in order to live your best life. Finding your way, seeing patterns, discovering solutions. You can write your journal, even just a few sentences a day for the rest of your life. A

Martin Fraser, B.A. (Hons) Psyc. Dip Counselling.

Particular interest in enhancing resilience in my community against Depression, Anxiety, Isolation and Addictions. Member of NZ Assoc Counsellors.

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