During tumultuous times such as these, it can be difficult to remember to practise gratitude. The unexpected outcomes resulting from COVID-19 such as job losses, financial difficulties, reduced social interaction, working from home, and many others can have a profound impact on your stress levels.
However, being able to remind yourself of what you have can help to counter these negative feelings. The ability to be purposefully thankful in spite of circumstances, not just because of them, is a powerful one that can help you regain control both of your mindset and quality of life. Here are some scientifically-backed reasons to thoughtfully practise gratitude.
Practising gratitude can positively impact many areas of your life, providing social, emotional, health, and even career benefits. Practising gratitude can be a simple way to help combat depression, by training your brain to highlight the best aspects of your life.
An American psychologist and leading researcher into gratitude, Robert A. Emmons, has conducted multiple studies drawing a link between practising gratitude and increasing happiness. His work has proven that grateful people are less stressed, have higher levels of motivation, and even have better physical health; actively practising gratitude can provide a number of health benefits, including a heightened immune system, lowered blood pressure, and better sleeping patterns.
If you’re wondering how to begin practising gratitude, it can be helpful to first break it down into two major components. Firstly, gratitude involves accepting that there are good things in the world, both in your personal life and outside of it.
These may come in the form of relationships, careers, gifts you’ve received, places you’ve seen; anything you could consider to be a positive aspect of life. This is not to say that there is nothing bad in the world, or in your life – it’s merely putting that aside for the purpose of gratitude and choosing to focus upon the positives.
The second is to find where these good things come from, in order to build more positivity into your life. Practising active thankfulness not only puts you in a positive frame of mind, but also helps you find where the good stuff is coming from and how to grow it. This can help you to cultivate more of the positive, and less of the negative.
The manifestation mindset is an example of this, in which you can harness your thoughts to bring you the things you want by clearly defining what they are and deciding upon a strategy to make it happen. Often, what you spend the most time thinking about is what comes into play; make sure you’re giving brain power to the right things.
An easy way to practise gratitude daily is by keeping a gratitude journal. Whether you buy a specific notebook or simply write in the notes section of your phone, starting a daily ritual of practising purposeful thankfulness is a great way to integrate gratitude into your life.
You can write about anything and everything, no matter how small; maybe you found a great new coffee shop, or had a call with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or did something you are proud of. This is beneficial not only to be able to recognise positivity, but can also work to encourage you to create positivity. When you know you want something to put in your book at night, that gives you motivation to seek out happiness in day to day life.
It can be hard to find the positives when so much is changing in day to day life. The team at Safe Place Therapy can help you get started cultivating the good in your life.
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