Life these days seems a lot more difficult compared to a few years ago due to the economic state of the world. Days are filled with ways to remain productive. In addition, most people are overwhelmed by many of the socio-economic issues facing people in the world. It’s easy to get bogged down in how stressful life is, and ultimately fail to see the forest for the trees. When you fail to have gratitude for your surroundings, it can ruin your quality of life.
Staying busy and constantly working can seem like the only way to achieve success or survive. But this can increase the risk of chronic fatigue, stress and physical health problems.
Why is gratitude important?
Gratitude is the readiness to show appreciation for things and return kindness. A Japanese Indigenous tribe known as the Ainu exercises gratitude as a way of life even after experiencing years of oppression. The Ainu believe that gods are everywhere and in everything. Humans are infused with nature, not to rule over it or be used by it. The Ainu have an ecological existence and have more gratitude for nature than the average urban dweller.
Ainu show and enact their gratitude for their surroundings by learning the names of every tree, plant and animal in Japanese, Ainu and English. This helps them connect better with their environment and utilise resources from the environment. Having a deeper connection with where you live, work or rely on can help anchor you to your reality and make it easier to keep you focused.
Studies show that gratitude can also improve sleep, mood, and immunity and reduce the risk of depression. If things seem bleak, you can focus on your environment to express gratitude. Look at the sky, the clouds, and enjoy the sun or bird song. In addition, you can also walk in a park or a suburban area where there is a lot of greenery.
How do you practice gratitude?
Try practising gratitude daily. Start with your personal life then work outward on what you’re grateful for. You can think of your closest friends and family. After which you can be grateful for a bright day and basic amenities. You can do it by just thinking about it, praying or using a gratitude journal. You can also send messages to loved ones that you appreciate.
Positive thoughts help release oxytocin, a hormone that can improve human connection. If you practice gratitude in your daily activities, you’ll find the world a much more positive place. Sharing kindness makes you healthier and happier. Kindness is an outward expression of gratitude. Simple acts of kindness such as donating to someone in need, helping someone with heavy luggage, holding a lift open for someone, or paying for someone’s order of coffee.
Read also: 10 ways to show gratitude #Asante
Kindness is also contagious. In an office or class, being kinder can make others more likely to pick up your habit. This is known as paying it forward. You can also practice communal gratitude on meditation forums online or with your loved ones.
Tuning into your environment leads to feelings of abundance and purpose. It helps reduce the load that comes with existing, especially when things are tougher. Appreciating the details and the bigger picture in your life makes your life feel more meaningful.
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