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This week we had Alyce Bradbury in the studio talking about gratitude, its world gratitude day 21st September.

So why gratitude and how does that link into mental health..?
It has now been proven that practising gratitude can help improve poor mental health. Gratitude is, for me, being grateful for all the smaller things we have around us, things like: hot water, towels, a little food, a roof over our head, the fact that we woke up this morning. When we wake up breathing it is a gift and a gift not afforded to everyone, some people will not wake up at all.

If we can just take a little time to give thanks for all of these things and more it helps the mind shift from feeling low, anxious, stressed whatever the overriding mood is to one of peace. this happens because the mind is wired mostly to keep us alive and safe, if we give focus to what we have around us to keep us alive and safe, the mind calms. If we arefocused on what we don’t have, the mind will continue into its worried, anxious or low state, thinking it is under threat. Although we think the mind is complex, and it is, in some ways its very basic. Its main function is to keep us alive. So when you want a brand new car or the latest trainers, or the next big holiday, the mind hears your wants and hears them asstruggles or threats. There is no harm what’s so ever in wanting to improve yourself but remember to give gratitude for what you currently have, no matter how small or by your perception, insignificant. If you are reading this, I guess you are winning at life, you woke up this morning!

Alyce and I talked about where we think lack of gratitude comes from. Two main sources came up: no surprises at social media, secondly the throwaway society we live in.

Social media is a great platform for showing the world how amazing your life is. When wesee this we soon want to the same, we soon begin to feel our world isn’t at great as theirs is.Let me ask you, have you ever shared a bad picture on social media? Have you ever gone onto social media to tell the world how bad your life is? Not so much or not never I’mguessing, we are much slower to share the real truth. Social media content isn’t true, beaware of this and you will soon be less affected by it.

The second reason, our throwaway society: we live in a world where things are not made to last, they are made to last only a season or two. We are constantly surrounded by new designs, new models, new this new that. Stuff that our friends may be buying, which again leaves us feeling, not good enough, or others better than us. That can leave our simplistic mind feeling threatened, little does it know that we are not under threat just because wedon’t have the latest iPhone (other phones are available)

In short, focus on what you do have, not on what you don’t have and your mind will begin tofeel safe and more peaceful. This is turn will lead to a happier more fulfilled life.

Alyce also shared her thoughts on gratitude and how in her household they approach gratitude. She also shared some of her parenting style, which I found to be amazing and well worth a listen.

Please share these podcasts if you think other people in your network may benefit and please feel free to ask any questions you might have.