From Gratitude to Care: Expanding Our Practice for Greater Connection

How many of you have heard of the benefits of gratitude. Research has shown that practicing gratitude has many benefits for our health such as reducing our stress, helping us be present and generating a sense of well-being. For several years I’ve used a template that I saw on a post on LinkedIn at the start of my working day – [see image below]. I love practicing gratitude; it grounds me and helps me to remember the good things in life. It keeps me focused on the kindness of others, the beauty of the world around us, and the gifts and abundance we often take for granted.

However, in recent years, I have been reflecting on another intertwined concept, one I believe is as important as gratitude and if practised can bring about deep human connection and a positive change across our entire world and that is that of Care.

So what do I mean by Care?

For me, Care is a fundamental human experience. It is something that unites us and that if we can connect to, will bring healing, enhance health and wellbeing and lead to better decisions, actions and outcomes.

Care encompasses compassion, empathy and concern for others. It is an action of tending to another and ourselves, through thoughts, words and actions. Just as gratitude encourages us to focus on the good, care invites us to extend that goodness outward, to care for others, ourselves and the world around us.

Care transcends boundaries. It is universal.

When we care, we recognise our shared humanity, and we act out of a practice of care, we make better decisions, aligned with our values that honour our interconnectedness.

Do this sound aspirational? Well, I hope so, because I believe that in our world, which is busy and fast and loud and yes, uncaring, we have to develop our practice of care, just as we develop our other practices. Just as gratitude extends beyond mere words of thanks, care transcends actions alone.

So, I am inviting you to a moment of practice now by listening to this 2 minute care reflection and I’d love to hear from you how you felt when you have finished.

Text from the Reflection

As you finish reading this blog, I invite you to take a deep breath and if you feel comfortable, close your eyes.

Now think about a time when you felt cared for.

Become aware of where you in your body you sense that feeling of care.

Now think of a time when you cared for someone else.

Allow that sense of care to grow in you, to swell.

Now imagine that you have wrapped your arms around that feeling so that you can hold it in you.

Take another deep breath and then open your eyes.

Bring this feeling of care with you through the day.