The importance of gratitude according to Bernadette Russell
When I was a child, January was the time for my sisters and I to write thank-you notes to all the friends and relatives who had given us Christmas presents, even if we didn’t like what we had received. My mum asked us to reflect on the thought and trouble that had gone into choosing our gifts, and to appreciate the money and effort spent.
A MONTH OF GRATITUDE
Last year, I did a month of daily gratitude-focused meditations, and one of the exercises was listing 50 people I was grateful for. That number seems like a lot at first, but it’s so joyful to focus on the people who have helped you in your life and remember the many kindnesses received. When we cultivate gratitude in ourselves, we find peace and happiness through appreciating what we already have. This replaces the constant yearning for something new, or feeling we can’t be happy until every need is met.
OUT WITH THE OLD
This year, instead of starting a new diary, I am using a gratitude journal. Every day, I’ll be recording a different thing that I am particularly thankful for. I’m also going to revive my tradition of thank-you letters. I’ll start by sending one to each of the 50 people who made it onto my list during the meditations. In these dark winter months, try to remember all the things you can be grateful for. Share your own lists on @balanceldn