Feels like forever since I have written a post and boy have I missed it!
As some of you may know Tears to Laughter recently released its first product which is a journal/planner for 2019. Each month includes a monthly declaration where the reader is able to choose the state of their month. For January the theme was gratitude. I know I am a little late since it is now February, but I will touch on that a little later.
What is Gratitude?
“the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Benefits of Gratitude:
- Gratitude opens the door to more relationships – A simple thank you here and there may allow you to form relationships with people easier.
- Gratitude improves physical health – Psychological studies have shown that people who are grateful experience less pain and aches and take better care of their health by exercising/eating better which aids longevity.
- Gratitude improves psychological health – When you are grateful you are less likely to spend time dwelling on the bad and comparing yourselves to others negatively.
- Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression – Psychological studies have also shown that grateful people are less likely to display anti-social behavior even when provoked.
- Grateful people sleep better – Completing things like the daily gratitude reminder in your Tears to Laughter journal right before bed, helps you place things into perspective in order to have a better nights sleep.
- Gratitude improves self-esteem – Again, grateful people have been said to be less willing to compare themselves to others negatively. So instead of low self-esteem that often comes as a result of comparison, grateful people can be happy for others and their successes.
- Gratitude increases mental strength – Gratitude has been said to help improve the ability to get through difficult times. Grateful people tend to still find positives in negative situations.
Why Gratitude is Important For Me
“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly, I will show the salvation of God! – Psalm 50:23
In a world where we constantly want and strive for more, it is so easy to get wrapped up in the future and not appreciate the present. There are blessings all around us even in the moments when it seems impossible to believe. The mere fact we are alive is something to be grateful for, because every minute you are alive is an opportunity for your situation to change.
A popular African Christian song says “count your blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done” – simply implying sometimes we are not even aware of the magnitude of our blessings! So if this applies to you in any way I want to encourage you this year to remain grateful, in fact, note something every day that you are grateful for.
The irony or rather the hypocrisy is, during the month of January, I have been so busy with my 9-5, starting the business side of Tears to Laughter, attending events and so on, that I began to find myself in a low state because of feeling drained and not doing things I wanted to do like blogging. Although things have not been particularly perfect everything that has been wearing me out have been blessings, but because I became so wrapped up in being busy and tired I forgot to spend time being grateful for it all.
So I am going to lead by example and telling you a few of the things I am grateful for so far this year:
- Even though work may get stressful I am grateful I have a job and one I like.
- I am grateful for everyone who bought a Tears to Laughter Journal
- I am grateful for booking holidays (even though my bank balance probably does not feel the same)
- I am grateful for the feeling after a good gym session – even though I would like to go more often.
- I am grateful for the speaking engagement opportunities
- I am grateful for all the birthdays of my family and friends (Again my bank balance may not feel the same)
Finally, being grateful for where you are in life at the moment, does not mean you will get complacent or you are suggesting your life is perfect. Often at this point of the year, many of us beat ourselves up for not achieving the things we have set out to or keeping up with the new habits we promised ourselves to have, but it is all part of a process, you only fail if you give up and giving up is so much easier when you are negative. Practice gratitude!
“Sticking to good habits can be hard work, and mistakes are part of the process. Don’t declare failure simply because you messed up or because you’re having trouble reaching your goals. Instead, use your mistakes as opportunities to grow stronger and become better.” – Amy Mornin
“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle