BLOG | 01 JUL 2021
Gratitude has gained popularly recently as research has found that gratitude may improve wellbeing outcomes. Gratitude encompasses thinking, acknowledging and/or being thankful for things of value in ourselves, others and the world. Gratitude has been described as both a state and a trait. Gratitude as a state is a feeling of gratefulness and appreciation for things we value.
Gratitude as trait is a way of being and experiencing life. You may be thinking that gratitude is focusing on the positives and ignoring the negatives, however, this is not the case! Practicing gratitude actually involves accepting the negative parts of life and looking closely at them to notice different perspectives or dimensions.
As gratitude supports you to look at situations differently it can help shift your mindset in a positive way. It is this shift that promotes wellbeing outcomes.
When individuals struggle with mental health concerns they can find it challenging to think about things or see situations differently. They may feel stuck or like their mind keeps bringing up upsetting or unpleasant things. Practicing gratitude is a way of training your mind to look towards the things you value.
Practicing gratitude can help you reconnect with the things that are important to you. It can also remind you of the positive things that you have in your life and due to looking at negative situations closely it can also sometimes help you see the positives in situations that are not ideal.
Gratitude can be practiced in a variety of ways. One way of practicing gratitude would be through a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal allows you to write down the things you are grateful for. This can be done every day at a time that suits you best or sometimes people find it easier to set time aside at the end of the week to write down the things they are grateful for throughout the week. These things may be little such as noticing it is a nice day or may be big such as experiencing the love of someone dear to you.
If you have not practiced gratitude now is your chance to give it a go. If you’re a little sceptical, treat this as an experiment! Try keeping a gratitude journal for two weeks and see if you notice any positive changes to your mood and wellbeing!
By Caitlin Blog