Be grateful, be kind

Be grateful, be kind

22 May 2020

We hope you were excited to read about and hopefully take part in the extensive online wellbeing offer we wrote about in last week’s article. This week we are going to explore ‘taking notice’ as one of our 5 ways to wellbeing, particularly focusing on being thankful and grateful, which along with taking notice of our physical surroundings is another important aspect of this wellbeing strand. In order to be grateful and thankful, it requires us to slow down and reflect on what we have rather than what we don’t have, no matter how small that might be. 

In these times we can easily be forgiven for dwelling on what we are being denied and missing out on, and both of us have had days where we have certainly felt like this. It takes a lot to stop and take time to look around us and notice what we can be grateful for, or indeed who we are grateful for. Lockdown has made a lot of us slow down and we hope that you might have been able to already see things within your life that you give thanks for: a home, food on the table, family, friends, a bed to sleep in, a safe country to live in, the generosity of others, amongst many more. On VE day pictures from the war and the circumstances families had to endure made us as a family stop and be thankful. 

Pausing and naming these things, either out loud or writing them down in a journal, is a positive tool to keep our wellbeing in good shape. The added benefit of gratitude is it makes us naturally kinder too and kindness has a beautiful way of breeding kindness. ‘Be Kind’ is a phrase we have heard a lot through the media recently and it can be easy to pay lip service to it or ignore it as another slogan, but it is a powerful tool in our armour to keep mentally well. Being kind towards others who we find difficult or towards situations that can irritate us can pay real dividends. Why not think of something that is really irking you at the moment and consider an aspect of it that you could be grateful for; then be kind towards that situation or person, even yourself. We know you won’t be disappointed when you see that kindness paid forward or even back to yourself.  

This week we received a card from a MindSpace member just to say she was thinking of us all. We were so grateful for the sentiment and it made us think about who we could be grateful for and be kind towards – and not forgetting that this is part of Giving (another of the 5 ways!). 

We don’t expect these things to come easily, particularly if you are having a difficult time emotionally or financially, but just like exercise can be tough, think of this like a new exercise for your mind and once you give it a go we can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. 

Dan and Cassie Petrie

This was one of a series of MindSpace articles published in The Stamford Mercury during the Coronavirus lockdown.