As the year comes to an end, a lot of us start to reflect on what has happened. Although at times it felt like 2020 was a year in slow motion, to think that we are already in December is like we could’ve blinked and missed it!
So, reflecting on the year that was, and the uncertainty we faced, on reflection do you feel you could take an attitude of gratitude?
People who show more gratitude are often more positive and satisfied. In times of challenge, it can be difficult to naturally feel gratitude, however, there are many benefits of gratitude practice in tough times. Having the ability to move through tough situations and be grateful for the lessons learned is something that can be extremely helpful to all of us!
So how can we do this?
1. Journaling gratitude – put it down on paper, for example, write down the names of three people or things in your life you are grateful for, and the reasons why.
2. Have a gratitude conversation – talk about the things you are grateful for, discuss this with family and friends
3. Show appreciation – Tell someone you appreciate them, let them know they mean a lot to you and what they do for you is valued
4. Pay it forward- If someone has shown you kindness or gratitude pay it forward to someone else
5. Reflect and repeat – Think about this process and how it felt for you then repeat!
How can gratitude positively affect our state of wellbeing?
· Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. By showing thanks, you are showing even strangers that you are courteous and appreciative which encourages relationships to be formed.
· Gratitude improves physical health. A study published in Personality and Individual Differences, conducted in 2012 showed that grateful people feel more healthy and experience fewer aches and pains than other people. They also take better care of themselves and likely check-in more regularly with the doctor.
· Gratitude improves psychological health. Gratitude has been found to reduce a range of toxic emotions from resentment and frustration to anger and regret. Another study conducted by Dr. Robert Emmons found a link between gratitude and wellbeing confirming that gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression.
· Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. You will find that grateful people behave in a more prosocial manner even in the instance when others are not being so. They also behave with more empathy and sensitivity to others.
· Grateful people sleep better. Acknowledging your gratitude by writing it down in a journal for 15 mins or so before bed can lengthen and improve the quality of your sleep.
· Gratitude improves self-esteem. Grateful people have the ability to appreciate others' accomplishments rather than compare themselves and feel resentful towards those who may appear to be in a better position than they are. This is a major factor in lower self-esteem levels.
The KGD team and I have been so grateful for the ongoing support of our students and families in 2020. Their ability to adapt and hang in there while times were uncertain is something we appreciate wholeheartedly.
I would love to hear how you feel about this year and the things that you’re grateful for moving into 2021.
Miss Karlie x