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5 reasons to start a gratitude list

What is gratitude?

The Oxford English Dictionary refers to gratitude as “The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”

I shared this post on my feed last week and after posting it - it got me thinking how it could be easily taken out of context.

Of course, writing a gratitude list doesn’t necessarily mean a magic cure for all of your problems.

It’s also important to acknowledge that some moments are not so pleasant and it’s valid that it’s difficult to show gratitude in these specific moments.

Mindfulness teaches us that all emotions, thoughts and feelings are valid. Instead of trying to run away from difficulty it offers curiosity to sit with what comes up. To feel and accept without judgment in this present moment. Mindfulness can help us find calm.

I get it, we’re busy mums and parents, how do we have time to sit down and write a gratitude list? Honestly, it doesn’t have to take long. 5 minutes first thing in the morning or last thing at night - and start with just one thing if that feels easier. Then gradually write an extra 2 or 3 a day.

Here are 5 reasons to start your own gratitude list:

  1. It’s been proven by scientific studies to increase the ‘feel good’ hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. (These hormones are also released in the mother and the baby when practicing baby massage!) Ultimately creating the feelings of closeness, connection and happiness.

  2. It builds resilience so that we are able to tolerate difficult emotions, events or moments. This has definitely helped me cope with the toddler tantrums!

3. It makes us happier as we take time to slow down and focus on the positive aspects of life, we naturally notice more of the happy moments.

4. It can make you sleep better. Feeling positive creates a sense of calm. If your mind is calm then naturally you will be able to sleep better.

5. It can reduce stress. Focusing on the feelings of contentment has been proven to reduce stress.

How has it helped me?

Adding all this together can ultimately contribute to a better sense of wellbeing. This has definitely helped me cope with the toddler tantrums! I feel calmer, more present and able to appreciate the little moments. In the interest of keeping it real - there are days that are really difficult - but this gratitude list has certainly helped me feel better and improved my mental health.

Let me know if you give it a go and how you get on.

Our next baby massage course starts in May at Braf, Dinas Dinlle - just outside Caernarfon. Click the link to find out more:

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