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An Attitude of Gratitude

Adding acts of gratitude into your daily routine can improve mental health. It’s easy to get pulled down by the weight of things that may not be going as planned in life. Much of what takes a toll on our mental health are influences outside of our control. Maybe it’s family, a job, or a physical or mental illness that is causing strife, but what we can try to control are our daily habits. 

Practicing gratitude is a type of mental exercise. It can help us see the good things in our lives and keep us from falling into despair. That is not to say that bad days won’t happen or that practicing gratitude solves all your problems. Balance is the key to finding a gratitude practice that suits your lifestyle. Try one of the following methods to create a new routine that will positively affect your mental health.

Write in a journal

Every morning, afternoon, or evening, write down three things you are grateful for in your life. They can be as small as a bowl of your favorite ice cream or perhaps a friend who helped you move into a new place. You could simply be grateful for getting out of bed that day or taking a shower. Acknowledging and finding gratitude for your continued existence is a reminder that you can make it to the next day.

Meditate

If you are an aspiring meditator or already use meditation as part of your mental health routine, you can easily incorporate a gratitude practice. Again, think of three things you are grateful for in your life that day. Concentrate on the people, things, or acts that you appreciate. Imagine thanking them for their support and existence.

Talk about the good

Normalize talking about or writing down your appreciation for others. Thank your family, friends, colleagues, service workers, people who have helped you in times of need. There’s usually not a bad time to remind someone that you are grateful for them. 

Practicing gratitude is not only a benefit to you and your mental health but also for those around you. It opens up communication with your loved ones and allows you to work together through times of disagreement or high stress. Start or get back into the practice of intentional acts of gratitude so you can face life’s challenges with resilience.

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