Gratitude is the act of being thankful and appreciating something or someone. You might read this and think that you are already grateful for everything you have but we often don’t take time to stop and think about what we are truly grateful for. Apart from when we get presents etc. we rarely show how thankful we are for something. We forget to thank our family and friends simply for being there for us, for their support and for the roof that has been put over our head. When we are actively grateful for things makes us remember what is important to us and helps us to forget the little things we’re worrying about. Often we get so caught up in everyday life stresses that we forget what is actually important to us in life. We get so stressed about exams, work, our relationships etc. that we forget how happy we are with other things in life. For example, how great our family or friends are, how lucky we are to be able to indulge in our favourite foods and simply having a roof over our head. Being ‘actively’ grateful means truly acknowledging how grateful we are, this can involve writing it down, taking time to think about these things everyday, or simply telling people how grateful we are to have them in our lives. It makes sense because it makes us focus on the positives in life instead of the negative things that might cause us upset, worry or stress. A positive mind = a positive life. Psychologist Robert Emmons found that writing a gratitude journal can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction. Dr Robert Emmons is one of the leading scholars of positive psychology, something I am really interested in and will do a blog post on soon. If you’re interested in being more grateful have a read of ‘Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier’ by Robert Emmons. The book helps explain the science behind why gratitude can lead to a more satisfying and content life. If you don’t want to go that far simply try taking a few minutes out of the day to think about or write down all the things you are grateful for in your life.