The Extraordinary Power of Gratitude

Gratitude is a huge saviour when it comes to transforming the most negative and/or stressful of situations.  It is mind-bendingly extraordinarily powerful and incredibly underrated.

It can transform our attitudes, our lives, and our existences.  It’s about being happy! Happiness isn’t about achieving anything.  Happiness is not about “I’ll be happy when I’ve …

… got my kids sorted

… got the level of income I want

… got rid of my debt

… achieved the weight I want to be

… got the partner that loves me

… got the right job

The list can be endless, and happiness is truly about the here and now.  It’s an awareness of what you’ve got – and also an awareness of being happy (not smug) about what you don’t have – “there but for the Grace of God go I”.

This thought brings to mind a study that was performed recently in California.  A group of people who were receiving medication for depression were divided into 2 groups.  Group 1 continued with their medication. Group 2 continued with their medication but were enlisted as volunteers in programs to help others in need of support – homeless, rehabilitating prisoners, ex-junkies, kids from challenged backgrounds, battered mothers etc.  At the end of 3 months, Group 1 still needed the same levels of medication for depression, while the results in Group 2 showed that many were no longer needing medication, and those that did, were now able to manage with significantly lower doses.

The insight here, is that those people who were able to find more meaning, purpose and joyful intention in their lives, were able to significantly reprogram their neural pathways and brain patterns in a physiological way to become healthier and happier.

A lot of you readers will be familiar with writing a “Gratitude Journal” each evening before you go to sleep in which you list as many things as possible for which you are grateful for that day.  If writing a Gratitude Journal appeals to you, then may I suggest that you now take it a step further by trying to include in your list at least one thing that you have done that day for someone else that has helped them.  If it was done anonymously, even better! Helping others a powerful tool for well-being, and you will also have helped someone else too! However, be sure that your motive is altruistic, not self-seeking.