Wellbeing Corner – Vol. 6 March 2021
What is gratitude? According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Gratitude is a way to recognize the good in our lives instead of focusing on the negative. Why should we be thankful? What are we thankful for? How can we be thankful during these trying times? At a time such as this we are very aware of all the stressors and challenges and it is sometimes difficult to see the positives through the chaos.
What we can be thankful for. We all have something we can be thankful for whether it is a roof over our heads, a warm bed to sleep in, food to eat, another day of life, our family and friends, our cherished pets, a warm, sunny day, rain to nourish the environment, etc. I can go on and on but I think you get the idea. We only need to shift our perspective from the negative to the positive.
Why we should have an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude has positive benefits on our physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. Studies have shown that grateful people have physical benefits such as reduced symptoms of depression, lower blood pressure and improves sleep. Mental health benefits include increasing self-esteem and improved decision-making processes. Emotional benefits include increase in life-satisfaction, increase in long term happiness, lowers feelings of depression, increases optimism and decreases selfishness. Social benefits include improved relationships, more liked by others, increases social support and a better work and life fulfillment.
How we can have an attitude of gratitude. Take a moment to just stop and appreciate life. You can try deep breathing exercises, going outside and breath in the fresh air. Rely on your spiritual beliefs and read a passage from scripture. Take a few minutes and read a poem or read a book you enjoy for a half hour. Listen to or watch positive affirmations on YouTube or the radio. Say thank you out loud as you appreciate the beauty of the day. Write at least 2 things that you are thankful for each day.
Having an attitude of gratitude does not mean you deny the challenges you may be facing. It means that you are making a choice to be present in the moment, appreciate what you do have and allows us to move toward the possibilities of life. Gratitude is the opposite of being selfish. We can take even the simple things for granted such as going to lunch with a friend or hugging our children and grandchildren but having gratitude means that we appreciate what we have.
So choose an attitude of gratitude and see how it can reframe how we think about ourselves and the world. We can all use a positive perspective to help us get through the day.
Peace and grace to you,
Janelle Carbone-Rodriguez, LCSW
If your loved ones, friends, or maybe even yourself, are struggling to find your best mental health and GRATITUDE, please contact us for an appointment.