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Thankful Thoughts

Gratitude matters

By Eva SmitePublished 3 years ago 5 min read

Gratitude is something I return to time and time again - both in my writing and in daily life. It is also something I need to keep reminding myself about, as it does not come as naturally as fear, worry, and other self-preservation instincts. Instincts that served our species well when our ancestors had to survive in the wilderness of the ancient world. The world has changed, but our physiology in many ways stayed the same, and we are still wired to remember the negative experiences more easily and with a much greater intensity than the positive ones. The evolutionary reasons for this are clear, we do so in order not to repeat them and survive. The irony with this, is that while animals have a way to discharge stress and negative energy (so it does not linger in their system for years after the traumatic event,) humans due to a more complex neurological make up, tend to hold onto it. This in turn, weakens the very defence they need in order to live a healthy life - the immune system. On the other hand, scientific research indicates that a daily gratitude practice strengthens immune system, as well as improving sleep and decreasing the risk of disease. While it might seem like an impossible task to feel thankful this year, due to the amount of overwhelming information we are exposed to on a daily basis, it is achievable with a little discipline. It might not be easy to feel it at first, and to begin with it could be a purely cognitive experience, but with time and practice it will become more heart felt.

By Susn Matthiessen on Unsplash

True gratitude comes from the heart, the bridge between the physical and spiritual world. Maybe that is why it is so very powerful and almost magical in the positive effect it yields. They say it is the closest thing to unconditional love one can feel, it is healing and transformative, and can alter so much more than just our psychological state. We are stronger when we are appreciative of what we have, as opposed to focused on what is lacking. And as clichéd as it sounds, there is indeed always something to be thankful for. We just need to look for it. Without further ado, here are things I am currently grateful for, let them inspire you to find yours, and let the alchemy do its work.

By Thom Milkovic on Unsplash

First of all - I am thankful for the opportunity to write, to inspire, to share my gift with the world in this way. It is something I was disconnected from for a long time, and finding it was nothing short of life changing. It was like finding my voice again after losing it many years ago. I doubt myself a lot, but when I write - I feel the confidence, the clarity, the empowerment and inspiration to speak my truth.

I remember how I was tested in the very beginning of rediscovering this passion. “But what will you write about?”, “You only feel clarity because you are able to organise your thoughts”, “That’s a nice hobby but you can’t make a living out of that” and other limitations and projections that landed on my ears, but luckily didn’t stall my creativity. Finding the “Vocal creators” platform gave me the confirmation that this is indeed a path for me to follow. I am thankful for them believing in me and I am thankful to all those people in my life who saw my potential when I didn’t . Truth to be told, I am even thankful to those who devalued me, as that created the room for more growth.

I am also thankful for those people I have never met in person, but who influenced me profoundly with their teachings, shifted my worldview with their perspectives, and made me understand myself better. Certain individuals inspire me online every day, regardless of where on the planet they are located. This brings me to the fact that I am grateful for the Internet and the opportunities it creates. The films that I am able to watch from the comfort of my home, images browsed for inspiration, all the genres of music that are available to be listened to online, to name a few.

By Brooke Lark on Unsplash

It is not all digital though, and I am very thankful for all the sensory experiences that are available to me regardless of whether or not there is a WiFi connection. The paperback books I can read while holding them in my hands, the scent of eucalyptus essential oil, the flame of the candle when it is dark outside, the soft touch of a warm blanket, the comforting ritual of tea drinking.

By Svitlana on Unsplash

Our home environment is where we recharge and spend substantial amount of time regardless of what year it is. It is an extension of our energy field and is supporting us even when we take it for granted. And so I am grateful for my cosy home.

Another thing we often take for granted, forgetting what an incredible creation it really is - is our physical body. It does so much for us, working twenty four seven to keep us warm, safe, nourished and rested. As I write this, my heart is filled with so much gratitude and appreciation for my body, my most loyal companion since birth. As well as realisation how cruel we can be towards it by criticising it for not meeting the standards imposed on us by society. Standards that are as fickle as fashion, and are created to gain commercial profit for certain industries and exploit peoples insecurities. To apply them to our body, the temple of our soul is the opposite of being appreciative. Thank you body for being there for me and I will do my best to be there for you from here on out.

By Ava Sol on Unsplash

On this note I would like to wish you lots of health and happiness this festive season, and thank you for reading. 🙏


About the Creator

Eva Smite

Writer, model, mental health advocate. Instagram @eva_smite

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