Last Thursday was Thanksgiving. Before I moved to Munich I celebrated Thanksgiving each year with my brother and his American wife. It was always a wonderful time to get together with family and friends and reflect on all that we are thankful for.
This year I am in Munich and can’t join them but instead, I am taking time to reflect on the past year and to be thankful for all that has happened in it.
Gratitude and Happiness- Why it is good for us?
It is not happiness that brings us gratitude, it’s gratitude that brings us happiness’.
That is, people who practice being thankful are happy. There is much research that tells us that practicing gratitude daily:
- Reduces stress
- Improves mood
- Lowers anxiety
- Increases self-worth
- Makes us more positive<
- Improves relationships and
- Deepens happiness.
It also blocks negative emotions such as:
- Resentment and
Overall it helps us focus on the present and makes us resilient during tougher times.
I am thankful for…
A year ago I resigned from my job and career of 20 years, rented out my home, left my family and friends and moved with my cat to start a new life in Munich. I had met my partner the year before and he was already living and working in Germany. Many people have said to me that it was a brave move but in fact I am thankful for the opportunity to live in such a beautiful city, to move here by choice and not necessity like many people, to have had the support and space to take time out and recharge, to study a new language, to retrain and gain my Diploma as a Life Coach and to realise a dream of working for myself. And to top off a wonderful year I am thankful to be expecting our first child.
What is there to be thankful for….
Practising gratitude does not always have to mean only acknowledging the big events in our lives. Daily mindfulness and awareness of the world around us focuses us on the small and beautiful things in life and increases our mood and happiness – a beautiful sunny day, the first fall of snow, the hug of a cat, coffee with a friend, a phone call with family, the leaves changing colour in autumn, a walk in the park, a delicious meal, savouring that chocolate……….
Why not start practising gratitude today….
Decide to notice one thing each day you are thankful for.
Make or buy a Gratitude jar* and write down one thing you are thankful for each day. Do this for a week, or a month or a year and then see the amazing things that happened in your life. (Also dip into it as a resource on those tough days. Nothing like lots of reminders of the good things in your life to build resilience and help you through a hard time).
Write a line each day in a Gratitude Journal.
Ask some friends to do the same and share what you are thankful for. Spread the happiness!