Gratitude – Why it’s time to stop and smell the roses

March 10, 2023
Gratitude – Why it’s time to stop and smell the roses

Gratitude – Why it’s time to stop and smell the roses

In a world where we can be geared towards a negative bias due to bad news, unpleasant experiences, grief, and loss, feeling joy and gratitude can be surprisingly difficult in our busy lives. While it’s easy to focus on the negative, taking a moment to build our gratitude muscle can have profound impacts on our lives and the lives of those around us.

What is gratitude?

Gratitude involves showing appreciation for the things in life that are important to you and taking a moment to notice and acknowledge these moments have proven benefits of lifting mood and helping you feel more positive throughout the day. Have you ever stopped to notice that there is something to be grateful for every day if we just open our eyes to it? It might be the person who gave you a wave as they let you merge into traffic, a cool breeze on a hot day, a rainbow after heavy rain, or a call or text from a friend who was thinking of you.  

While it can seem trivial, gratitude has many benefits that can enhance your relationships and can help open up more positive interactions with others. Research has proven that being on the receiving end of gratitude can lead to people around you being more helpful and generous. At times it may feel strange to stop, take a moment and offer gratitude but there can be plenty of health benefits too.  

Practice Gratitude – Write down 3 Things Per Day

One of the best lessons I have learned in practicing gratitude in my daily life was a simple method I learned from a talk given by The Resilience Project. Put simply, at the end of each day take 5 minutes to write down 3 things that you were grateful for that happened that day. It can be things like the sun, my friend who called me, a walk with my dog, or anything you like. Doing this simple exercise can help you to articulate what you are grateful for and realise that there is so much to be grateful for in our daily lives.

Living in Victoria in 2 years of COVID lockdown working full time with my husband and home-schooling two boys aged 8&10 at the time we did the above gratitude practice each night as a family.  

We all wrote our three things on post-it notes and put them in a bowl and then randomly read them out to one another at dinnertime. It was amazing to me that it was always the simple things that we were all grateful for such as my son saying he was grateful for my home cooking, or my husband being grateful to be together as a family every day these simple acts of gratitude can be so important.

I also clearly remember making a hot meal and passing it over our neighbour’s fence when their family had COVID only to be surprised a few weeks later with an Indian home-cooked meal in return.

So why not take the time to stop and smell the roses and try to practice gratitude? Who knows over time you may start to notice your stress decrease, your relationships improve, and a more solid feeling of community with those around you.

Written by Melissa Cutajar, the Membership Experience and Partnership Manager for Connected Women in Melbourne. She is a proud mum to 2 boys aged 9 & 12 and lives in the leafy Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne.

Passionate about community, fashion, style and beauty she often spends her spare time helping out her boys at their local sports activities. An avid traveller she loves to explore new places with her husband, boys and friends.