Sometimes it's hard to remember to be grateful for what we have and not just focus on the negatives. With difficult life events, going through hardships and all the sad and negative world news, we sometimes really have to make an effort to shift our focus to the happier and more positive things in our lives.
So what are you grateful for today? Here's a little exercise to help you answer that question.
One of the many ways that can help you feel more grateful is to meditate. Don't worry, this doesn't have to involve spending hours in the lotus position chanting (although, that is of course also great if that's what floats your boat) - even just a few minutes at the beginning and/or end of your day can really help you see things in a positive way and feel more grounded and centred.
Here is a gratitude meditation you can try today.
Whether you're used to meditating or not, in this type of meditation you don't have to try to clear your mind while focusing on your breath. Instead, during a gratitude meditation you will practice visualising all the things you are grateful for in your life.
Find a comfortable position to sit in, for instance cross-legged on the floor or on a chair with your legs bent. Just make sure your back is straight and your shoulders are relaxed.
Now close your eyes and take three deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling through your nose.
Next, start visualising something that you are grateful for.
Give each person or item the concentration they deserve. Take your time going through all the people or living things you are grateful for or all the physical objects you are grateful for.
These can be big or small; your most important people, your pets, your ability to see or hear, your coffee maker, a great TV show, your job, your children's health etc. etc.
Spend some time going through the things you are grateful for and see how you feel afterwards. You might even want to note down a few of the things that came to your mind.
So how do you feel? Did many things come up? Do you think you might want to repeat this exercise? If so, this really is a great exercise to do, both morning and night, just for a few minutes at a time.