Gratitude plays a huge role in mental wellness. Without gratitude in our lives, we are always left wanting more. In this season of the Thanksgiving holiday, it is even more important to learn how to practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude can be done in many different ways, so it can be helpful to understand and utilize a number of different methods in order to boost the gratitude you have for yourself, people, and the things you have in your life.
You may be wondering, ‘Why do I have to practice gratitude and why is that important to my mental health?”. Expressing gratitude is linked to improved mental health on various fronts. Individuals who cultivate gratitude tend to experience lower levels of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Additionally, individuals who practice gratitude enjoy enhanced sleep quality, more robust interpersonal connections, and greater overall life satisfaction and psychological well-being. Therefore, learning how to use gratitude is an essential part of effectively boosting mental health and living a more mentally stable life.
There are some ideas you can utilize to practice gratitude in your daily life including:
Taking time to write down what you’re grateful for is a great way to practice gratitude each and every day. Set up a time that works for you to do this and work it into your daily routine – whether it’s right before bed or while you’re drinking your morning cup of coffee. Get a journal or a jar that you can put scraps of paper into, write down one or two things you are grateful for in the moment, and put this into your journal or jar. Eventually, you’ll have an entire notebook or jar full or reasons to feel grateful, and you’ll feel better about what you have in your life a little bit every day from here on out.
There are so many apps out there that can help us keep track of basically everything – from how many steps we take to if we’ve taken our medication. So, you shouldn’t be surprised to find out that there are actually gratitude apps that you can download. Simply search for a gratitude app in your Apple Store or Play Store from your phone and download the one that looks best to you (make sure it’s a free version). Most of these apps will send you a notification to let you know when to take some time out of your day to find something that you’re grateful for. And, even provide you with a safe place to store these thoughts so that you can look back at them when you need a reminder of what you’re grateful for.
One way to practice gratitude is to show it in the people around you – this can not only help you better practice gratitude but also strengthen the relationships you have. An easy way to showcase gratitude to people in your life is to say thank you. So, start trying to thank someone in your life at least once a day – whether it’s to thank someone for keeping a door open for you, your parents for making dinner, or a teacher for giving you a grade back on time.
Struggling with being grateful? This may be due to experiencing unwanted symptoms of mental health issues. Mental health conditions can affect a person’s ability to see the good in life and experience gratitude. So, if this is something you’re dealing with, it may be time to seek help. Yellowbrick offers mental health treatment planning for young, emerging adults. Find out more about how we can help and our programs from our website.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.