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Let’s be honest: 2020 has been a strange year and gratitude doesn’t seem to come as natural anymore. It’s been overwhelming (for many) with cases of anxiety and depression rising. Positive Psychology research explains how feeling grateful boosts positive experiences, relationships, and improves their health.
Dr. Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology, tested numerous Psychology interventions regarding gratitude. The experiment involved participants writing about what they were grateful for, for 10 weeks. Another group listed down everything that irritated them. Results indicated that the “gratitude” group increased their life-satisfaction and were more optimistic.
As such, gratitude is a form of self-care where it’s important to boost positive mental health. For a more in-depth look at various self-care activities, feel free to look over the 20+ ebooks and videos in the Self-Care Bundle. The bundle contains numerous tutorials, journal prompts, and meditation to help build a stronger sense of self during these crazy times.
Practicing gratitude daily
I know the feeling of when everything is so negative and awful, completely overwhelming, and you want to hide under the covers for a very long time. Even more so, I understand what it feels like to constantly question your existence and whether you’re doing enough. Nay, if you’re being enough.
When I started a wellness blog, I had little expectations on how it would be received. But as I quickly grew my Facebook community and had many honest conversations with its members, I realized that there’s still that feeling of hopelessness.
People are slowly starting to feel sad or anxious on most days. Instead of having one “off day” a week.
That’s where a sense of gratitude comes in. There are numerous studies which share how gratitude can change your brain and help remove toxic thoughts.
Begin with listing down 3 things you’re grateful for
It doesn’t have to be expansive either. You can simply that “lunch was great today!” or the sunlight lit up your room beautifully this morning. Gratitude often doesn’t begin with grand gestures or declarations of love. Simply put, it’s what happens every day that counts.
Writing on your journal about a good deed or anything positive instantly boosts our mood too. I personally love writing in the morning, when the world is quiet, and truly reflect on my experiences.
Understand your circumstance and find ways to see the good in all of them
I attended Ramit Sethi’s Mental Mastery course (non-affiliate but would recommend!) early this year. One module focused on how to be optimistic, no matter what circumstance you’re in. I particular loved how Ramit focuses on gratitude and seeing everything as a lesson or opportunity.
Admittedly, it’s a difficult task but once you’ve created a habit out of it, suddenly nothing really bothers you anymore. Or at least, not as much.
This is how I managed to survive getting kicked out of a country, being stranded in another, losing all my savings, and eventually building a business from the ground.
Looking at situations from an “on the ground” perspective helped me build resilience and become mentally stronger. I believe this year has truly helped me shape and re-define the kind of life I want. That’s why I also recommend looking at Jess Stuart’s Resilience and Self-care module at the Self-Care Bundle. This will help train your brain to see the good in different situations, and essentially, become a better person.
Alternatively, if you’re a worry wart (like me), Kimberly Dickerson’s Worry Journal is also a great find 😉
Recognize toxic emotions and take a spin on gratitude!
One of the biggest downfalls of living with anxiety is the constant worry about the future. Add on depression then you’re simultaneously thinking about the past too. It’s not a fun mind game to play.
I used to wallow in my depressive states and had little to no emotional control. It wasn’t until I decided that something needed to change. That’s where gratitude comes in.
Instead of denying that we have negative thoughts and emotions, it’s time to recognize them. This also means acknowledging that we have toxic tendencies… like every other person.
One way I found to combat this involves mentally reframing these emotions into something positive. This way I’m spreading gratitude and positive energy to the world instead. I’m a firm believer that energy can work for us.
Take 8-10 minutes out of your day for mental reframing exercises. Start off in the left column with your current thought/situation. On the right, write down your positive spin on it. This is also tied to seeing things in a contextual sense and can help improve overall well-being.
The benefits of gratitude take time
Writing down three things to be grateful for can make us happier. However, doing this practice for one week, as opposed to a few months, has very different effects. It takes a long time to cultivate a gratitude practice because you’re essentially forming a new habit which takes 30 days.
Don’t get me wrong – I do think you’ll see signs and changes sooner than that. But it takes a lot of patience to change your pre-programmed thoughts and subconscious. That said, the Self-Care Ultimate Bundle is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to create this practice next year.
Imagine this: The Self-Care Bundle contains 22 products for your Mind, Body, and Soul. You’ll receive tons of videos, modules, and essentials that will make you more grateful every day. Use my link and get it for $19.99 (+ $8 for bonus worksheets!)