Come March, it’s exam season, and everything is overwhelming. Students are in that make or break zone – where passing crucial exams with flying colours is the only goal. This inevitably puts students in an autopilot mode where the final stop is academic success. In times like these, it’s easy to miss out on what actually matters – you! When you strive to be grateful for what you have, you’re improving your mood and the quality of your relationships.
In today’s, fast-paced world there is a strong tendency to keep going towards your goal without a speed breaker. While this looks great on paper, it’s important to take a step back and be kind to your mind, and know that your wellbeing is an integral part of your achievements. Now, how do you do this in a wholesome manner? By weaving in mindfulness in the form of a gratitude list in your life.
Before we get to gratitude lists in earnest, let’s take a moment to understand what mindfulness is – it is simply that act of living in the present moment. It is all about being aware, awake, and engaging with your surroundings without judgement.
Dictionaries define mindfulness as a practice where you’re aware of your body, mind, and emotions in a particular moment, to create a feeling of calm. Some examples of mindfulness are being aware of your breath, paying attention to the flavours in your meal, appreciating an act of kindness wholeheartedly, etc.
Today, scientists and spiritual teachers are aligned on one thing – mindful gratitude. A practice of viewing your imperfect, busy lives with a fresh perspective. To be able to look at the beautiful colours in nature, feel the textures of your personality, and acknowledge the intellectual and emotional contribution of humanity to our progress and well-being.
Gratitude is a small and simple practice of noticing and appreciating the meaning of the everyday experiences in our lives. It is about saying, “I’m grateful for the ability to see the pristine pink flowers amidst the calming greens and rugged browns of a tree that has been around the corner of my street for aeons.” It is also about being thankful for a deep, feel-good conversation with a dear friend to lighten the load after a long day.
Researchers have found that when students practise gratitude, it boosts their mood and makes them feel happier. Not only that, but it also helps them recognise and respect themselves and those around them. When you say thank you to someone, you’re recognising what they have done for you. And, you are valuing them for what they have given you. Finally, you’re also telling them that they matter to you and that their actions have positively impacted you.
So how do you do this? Begin by taking a minute for yourself and thinking about what makes you happy, what is good about your life, and the person you are most grateful for. And, put this down in a list. Then, watch the magic happen once you’ve made this a routine. Make sure that you thank yourself and those around you for the beautiful things you experience in your life. From warm meals in the hearth to fun conversations with cousins.
Need help in starting your gratitude list? We have a template for you below.
While you can always express gratitude to your loved ones by saying thank you or giving a gift, it helps to maintain a record of the gratitude that you feel. You can do this with the help of a gratitude journal as well. Doing this on a regular basis will rewire your mind to be happier, resilient, and in effect, do better in other aspects of your life as well. Not just that, there are more perks:
It’s no secret that as human beings, all of us want to be better versions of ourselves. We want to achieve great things. We also want to do good for those around us to make the world a better place. So, why not start early and begin at home?
Do tell us in the comments below what you’re grateful for and why.
Sara started her professional journey in a newsroom and quickly realised that words and stories are her happy place. You may have noticed that she adores her alliteration. She’s also an ailurophile who needs her fix of cute kitty reels to unwind. A warm cup of coffee, chocolates with hazelnut, and a Netflix binge on a cosy chair are all she needs in life. Trees and beaches make her very happy too.
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