“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
- Meister Eckhart
As the year draws to a close it is the perfect opportunity to reflect; what has happened, where you have been and what you have achieved. This seems at odds with our repeated message of being mindful – living in the moment & not being focussed on the past. However, reviewing the year is an excellent opportunity to practice gratitude, and looking back allows us to evaluate our actions and decide how best to act in the present moment.
Today we want to focus on gratitude as this is one of the quickest ways to produce positive body chemistry in the form of dopamine and serotonin.
Every time we are grateful we make ourselves open to receiving abundance from the universe.
Grateful people have a stronger immune system, they have a better tolerance to pain, they eat better, they are more likely to exercise, and they have a better quality of sleep. They are more positive, more optimistic, and more likely to experience feelings of joy and pleasure. Grateful people are more generous and compassionate, more forgiving and less likely to feel lonely.
The last 12 months have been difficult. We have all had to adjust to a new normal and fear has loomed large in many ways; fear of new variants, fear of loss (losing those we love, material things, our freedom, our way of life), and the fear of change that often holds us back.
How then do we practice gratitude in the midst of a pandemic that stretches before us with no apparent end point and no light at the end of the tunnel?
We start with the easy things, for example, the people in your life who you love. Consider the things you have that you enjoy, and the things you have achieved. Research has shown that feeling grateful for the gifts we have received bestows multiple benefits.
Now think about the things that did not go well. Mistakes, rejections, failures, break ups and losses. What did you learn from these experiences? How can you use the experience to move forwards in a productive way? When we allow ourselves to see these positives we have activated a truly grateful mindset and will reap the benefits.
One of the most powerful ways to develop gratitude is to put it into practice. Rather than just feeling thankful, actually thank those who you are deeply grateful to.
Write a letter to someone who has inspired or helped you in some way and you will both feel the effects of this gift.
With this in mind, we would like to send these words to those for whom we are truly grateful.
Thank you to all those who have believed in us this year.
Thank you to those who read our blog posts and share them.
Thank you to our friends and family for supporting us. They gave us time to write and develop our ideas, encouragement when we were low and opportunities to put our tools into practice.
Thank you to Victoria from Sheldon Press who took the time to read our email and recognised the value of our work.
Thank you to all who have come on our courses and left feedback. It is wonderful to hear how people have benefited from our words. We use the comments about how we can improve to make the workshops better.
Thank you to Dr Ramesh Mehay who came on one of our first courses and has believed in us and helped us in many ways, Dr Amar Rughani who has been a great mentor, and HeatherAsh Amara and Dr Sarah Brewer who have been generous with their praise and support.
Thank you to everyone who has bought our book and left reviews.
Thank you to our partner organisations who have commissioned courses and articles from us.
Thank you to those who run the podcasts we have been involved with this year.
 Emmons, R. A. (2004). The Psychology of Gratitude: An Introduction. In R. A. Emmons & M. E. McCullough (Eds.), Series in affective science. The psychology of gratitude (p. 3–16). Oxford University Press.