The Catitude of Gratitude


The Catitude of Gratitude

What better time than Easter to go on an Easter Cat Hunt?! My friends and I like to cause a stir when we play hide and seek. Our cat care attendants, or as I prefur to call them, my ‘cattendants’ purrform health checks on us twice a day, and we have such a giggle evading them. As cats, we are expurrts in getting into the smallest and weirdest of places. We never fail to entertail and amews with our cheeky antics. Sometimes though, if we can’t be found, our humans start to worry. The longer they’ve been looking fur us, the more delighted they are to finally find our fluffy faces.  Isn’t it funny how you don’t really apurreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone?  Just a taste of being without something can give you renewed apurreciation for it. I get the best cuddles from my humans when I’ve been hiding…

When we have lost something very important to us, we sometimes think we’d do anything to go back in time and bring it back. It would make us so happy just to hold that thing again. It does make me wonder, can we use this technique to bring us more happiness in life generally?

Surely, we can use that to create a joyful and grateful state of mind. Would you like to try this exercise with me? it’ll only take a few minutes. You can write it down if you like, or just play along in your mind…

What would you miss?

What would you miss if it were gone? It might be a loved one, your home, your health, your pet, your keys, or ME!

Imagine you don’t have that thing any more. Really put yourself in that position and feel the emotions, stay with that thought for a little while. If it’s not too uncomfortable, maybe you can use your imagination to visualise the situation.

Now imagine that you can literally turn back time and get that thing back. Maybe you want to run up to it and hug it, or some other physical way to enjoy having the thing that you had lost. Keep hold of that joyous feeling for as long as you can, imagining with as much richness as you are able. Put yourself in that purrsition and feel the relief of getting it back. If you want to extend the exercise, you could try to think of all the reasons you are grateful to have it in your life.

Purrhaps some faults that had previously bothered you about it now seem insignificant and you are just glad to have it back. My sister Poppet annoys me sometimes. We look alike, so she pretends to be me when it’s feeding time. She sometimes tricks the cattendants into letting her into my bedroom and if I’m not quick enough to notice then she eats some of my dinner. Sometimes I wish she’d just disappear so I can have her dinner too…but when she hides from me, I really miss her and realise that I do really like having her around, even if she’s annoying sometimes.

WHAT DO YOU MISS?

It sounds weird but thinking about something you’ve lost can actually make you apurreciate the things you have left. Grief and loss can teach us to value what we have.

When we lose a loved one, or when life changes in a big way, it’s so easy to focus on what we no longer have – on the gap that is left. Over time the pain fades and we get more used to living life without them or living life this new way.  We eventually stop grasping for the old life or wishing things were different. When we start to accept and make peace with what is, we can start to be grateful for the moments we had and for the permanent impact and influence that remains.

CONNECTION

One of the biggest boosts for wellbeing is connection… the healing effects of taking time to really connect with ourselves or with others can be ameowzing.  How can we take this catitude of gratitude and use it to strengthen our relationships with others? Hair are a few little challenges you might like to try…

  • Tell someone that you apurreciate them
  • Tell someone how much you’d miss them if they weren’t there
  • Be brave and smile at a stranger or make confursation with someone new
  • Reach out to someone who is impurrtant to you, that you haven’t seen fur a while
  • Is there anyone you can think of, who does something you have taken for granted?
  • Give out compliments to every person you talk to and give strokes to every animal you see
  • Talk to someone about someone you miss, your memories, and how they have impacted your life
  • Starting from your feet and working up to your head, connect with the feelings in each part of your body

GRATITUDE MAKES HAPPYTUDE

Being grateful helps me to feel better when I’m feline sorry for myself about something.  Befur bedtime when I’m tired I can get a bit grumpy and start to think negatively.  If I notice that I’m feline blue, and I remember to, then I make a list of all the things I’m grateful for. It helps me realise that things aren’t as bad as they seem and that I have a lot of cool things in my life. Even simple things can bring me a lot of joy, like hiding in a box from my fellow cats and humans to make sure they apurreciate me too!

Experimenters have shown that taking a few minutes of your day to reflect on what you’re grateful for can not only make you happier but also does your body some good, like boosting your immune system, impurroving your quality of sleep, increasing energy levels, helping with stress and depression and reducing blood pressure in people with hypertension. One study even found it helped people live longer!

Healthy habits, routines and rituals can also be good for our emotional wellbeing, which is another reason to add this practice into our daily doings. You might like to start the day in a pawsitive way by thinking of all the things you’re grateful for, or like me, as a little mood booster just before bed. I add in things I’m grateful to other people for having done for me, and things I’m grateful that I achieved during the day. It helps me remember all the cat-tastic things about the day that I might have furgotten, and I get to sleep more peacefully.

A Final Thank You

I’m so grateful to have found my furever home here at Pause Cat Cafe. Thank you to all of my doting cattendants who volunteer their time to care for me and my furry family 24-hours a day. I know it wouldn’t be pawsible without the lovely people who come to visit me and supawt the cafe. My biggest thank you goes to all the wonderful humans out there who look after rescue cats like me and give us a second chance fur a contented life.

ABOUT THE AU-FUR

“Hi, I’m Sweetcheeks…

I am a ninja! I can fly through the air at lightning speed and cat-ch a nacho before it reaches your mouth! Never underestimate the power of the tiny. I may be cute, but I am mighty!  I spend my time training so that I can stay flexible and I will share with you my sporting tips in all cat-egories from aerobics to cat yoga.

I’m the epic Sweetcheeps Pause on Facebook and you can follow me on Instagram @sweetcheekspause

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