Show your appreciation

Yoga and well-being expert Lucy Parker of FLOW Tunbridge Wells reveal her top tips on how to begin practising daily gratitude…


I’m sure you’ve heard that gratitude can make you feel better, but have you ever considered practising it daily in order to help you lead a happier and healthier life?

Scientists are busy proving what Eastern mystics have known for centuries: that feeling grateful gives us biofeedback for optimal health and a ‘feel-good’ factor that can last for hours, if not days.

The results can be seen on the bio-psycho-social-spiritual scale, meaning that you can feel them in your body and brain as well as experience them in your social interactions and through your sense of being connected to a greater community.  Gratitude is not just about thanking someone else for something, it’s about an internal sense of well-being that can enhance our personal growth and satisfaction.

In these times of uncertainty, economic gloom, doom scrolling, strikes and the ongoing risk of environmental calamity, the scales are most certainly hard to keep balanced. It’s all too easy to allow ourselves to tip into fear and anxiety, remaining in a gloomy and negative mood for much of the time.

This is where gratitude steps in, helping us to recalibrate our internal scales finding harmony and, yes, you guessed it, inner peace! Being thankful for our lives, from the tiny joys of watching a ladybird to the big wins of love and friendship, gratitude makes a significant difference that can be harvested into a crop of health benefits to keep us feeling great!


Feeling grateful can:

  • Rewire your brain to encourage positive thinking
  • Reduce anxiety by regulating your stress hormones
  • Enhance dopamine and serotonin – the ‘happiness’ neurotransmitters
  • Improve your overall mood
  • Improve your sleep
  • Strengthen connections with friends, family, and romantic partners
  • Lower high blood pressure
  • Motivate you to move more
  • Strengthen your immune system


And if you’re seeking ‘true happiness’, a regular gratitude practice can lead to optimism, selflessness, spiritual awareness, empathy, and high self-esteem, all of which are key components to cultivating a greater sense of joy in our lives.



I’ve practised 10 finger gratitude with my kids every day since they were little.

It’s surprising how many things there are to be grateful for if only we stop long enough to notice.

Try it now, look around you and see what there is to be thankful for… the clouds, the final chocolate in the box, the scent of a rose, an old family photo, the breath in your lungs.  When you get started the list can stretch way beyond your ten fingers and on to your ten toes too! (On one such session my son, then aged 5, told me how grateful he was for poo!  Well, I agreed, me too)! When you invite curiosity into your life, you’ll be surprised by what you see and how thankful you are for the simplest things around you…


Here’s how:

  1. Stretch out a finger, one at a time, and think of something you feel grateful for
  2. Drop into the feeling of each thing and notice its impact on you as you bring it into your awareness
  3. Count to a full 10 with one specific gratitude for each finger
  4. Don’t stop till you reach 10, especially if you’re finding it hard


So why not see how you go: I’d love to hear how gratitude helps you live your life more fully.



According to research, a five-minute daily gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 per cent. That’s the same impact as doubling your income!


Some ways to try practising gratitude:

  1. Settle into bed each evening and take time to reflect on your day before you drift off to sleep
  2. Observe what happened, what made you feel happy and what might have left you feeling anxious or irritable. Was it people, situations or events that had the most impact on you today?
  3. Now, focus on three good things for which you are grateful. They can literally be anything. Encourage yourself to be as specific as you can.
  4. Write these three good things down in a special notebook you have selected exclusively for this practice.


Keeping this gratitude list is a wonderful way of building up a personal gratitude mountain you can climb whenever you need a little perspective or fresh air!

READER OFFER: Try our NEW Move & Meditate class on a Wednesday evening from 7.30-8.30 pm.  Use – SOFlow30 – at the checkout to receive three one-hour classes for just £30. See this link:


Flow Tunbridge Wells

29 Woodbury Park Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN4 9NQ

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