Take a deep breath and look around you. Notice everything around you that makes you happy, especially the small things. Smile at that person who is crossing the road. Go for a walk in your local park. Say thank you to your barista who makes your coffee every Monday morning just the way like it. Write a letter to your parents and thank them for bringing you into this incredible world- thank them for giving you life. No matter how big or small, be thankful and embrace.

Gratitude engages your brain to focus on the positive things in life. An internal switch is flicked on, and our brain starts recognising things to be grateful for.

Think of Gratitude like chocolate to the brain. It activates the reward centre, the pleasure pathway of the brain. Gratitude feels good, whether you’re the giver or the receiver.

Gratitude has been scientifically proven to make us happier. Writing in your Gratitude Journal everyday, and reflecting on things that your grateful for, can increase your long term wellbeing by more than 10 percent! Listing all the things that your grateful for each day leads to a brighter outlook on life and a greater sense of positivity.

Those who engage in regular Gratitude practices have been shown to feel less pain, have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, and be less likely to develop mental disorders. A recent study showed that keeping a Gratitude Journal makes you healthier and results in: 19% more time spent exercising, 10% less physical pain, 8% more sleep and 25% increased sleep quality.

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Being grateful for the things that your partners, family and friends do can strengthen your relationship with them. Gratitude makes us more trusting, more social and more appreciative. Those qualities will allow us to make more friends, deepen our existing relationships and improve our marriage. According to marriage expert Dr John Gottman, gratitude is the single biggest contributor to a flourishing marriage.

If you wake up every morning and reflect on what you are grateful for, your brain will process the millions of signals it receives every day and it will focus on those that you can be further grateful for. Your perception of the world changes. You will become a master of the awareness game and Gratitude will take over and transform your life. You will attract bigger and better things. It is that simple and amazing.

A community of change makers, philanthropists, dreamers, leaders and visionaries who are living and breathing their purpose called Ougies began researching gratitude journals 6 months ago. The organisers, myself included, started writing down our own personal gratitudes as a daily routine, and instantly noticed changes in our lives.

Added to our own transformations were the countless stories we witnessed about positive changes occurring in the lives of people using journals. This led to the creation of the Ougies Gratitude Journal and a “pay it forward”. For every Gratitude Journal sold, Ougies donates a reading book to a child – a child who does not have access to this fundamental source of knowledge.

gratitude 2As one of the founders of Ougies, I believe that books build confidence for a bright future filled with opportunities, regardless of race, gender, geography or economic status. These children are our future leaders and Ougies has made it our mission to spread the power of gratitude and knowledge to them.”

’Seeing the smile on the child’s face when you gift them a new reading book is priceless! They immerse themselves in the book and take it all in. Soon, you’ll be able to follow their journey on our website, and see the impact that you’ve personally made on a child’s life when you invest in a Ougies Gratitude Journal.

Ougies Gratitude journals are available now from http://ougies.com

ENTER TO WIN 1 OF 3 OUGIES GRATITUDE JOURNALS – ENTER HERE

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Samantha Khater is one of three siblings responsible for starting Ougies, a movement to harness the power of gratitutde and to connect humans to one another resulting in an overwhelming social change. Samantha is the youngest Ougster, a social butterfly, lover of acupuncture, chai tea and is passionate about inspiring others to be the best they can be. For more information visit Ougies at http://ougies.com