The Importance of Gratitude for Me (+ you!)

How do I personally practice Gratitude?

Now it’s all well and good me throwing all the science at you but realistically, how do I practice being grateful on a day to day basis.

One thing I do is list all the things I am grateful for in my head silently to myself. I usually start with the basic stuff like ‘I am grateful for food’, ‘I am grateful for clean water’, ‘I am grateful for a roof over my head’.

Even if I REALLY don’t feel like it that day, once I get started, I can usually snowball my list into a tonne of things I am grateful for. I can even be grateful for the low points, the mistakes and the people who hurt me.

You can also write this list down. Maybe seeing a visual of what you are grateful for can solidify it more in your head.

DISCLAIMER. All the things I am about to mention I do out of my own choices. I was not paid to promote any person or app, I have just found that these things work well for me and would like to share them with anyone struggling out there. I am not affiliated with anyone or any company mentioned.

Here is some advice from family medical doctor and YouTube personality Doctor Mike. This is a video about his entire evening routine which helps him get a good nights sleep, but if you skip to 3:42 you will hear him discuss a Gratitude exercise that helps him reduce his anxiety.

I also like to do yoga and Yoga with Adriene is my go to. I usually do my yoga before I go to sleep and this is one of the videos where I actually feel a reduction in my anxiety and boost in my mood when I’m finished. She also has other Gratitude routines if you go and visit her YouTube channel.

Don’t worry if you don’t understand chakras, neither do I, but this video works fine for me even if I don’t fully understand everything in it. Come with an open mind.

There’s also guided meditations that help you to cultivate Gratitude. You can find these all over youtube or you can download apps specifically designed for meditation. Remember that you might need to pay for these so keep that in mind.

I frequently use the app Headspace and I find that the quick 10 minute routines are great for me to get my meditation in for that day. They have specific meditations for cultivating Gratitude too.

So those are a few ways I like to practise Gratitude but there are so many other options out there (CBT, other positive psychologies). The ones I mentioned are the techniques and methods that fit into my routine and that work for me.

See what you can find that works for you.

A final word

I will leave you with a few thoughts, tidbits you could say, from what I have learnt along my mental wellness journey. This is not necessarily related to Gratitude but more general advice and thoughts from what I have gathered along the road.

All feelings are temporary.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Sad feelings will pass. Happy feelings will pass. What I’ve learnt from meditation is that it’s more about keeping a balance of your emotions so that you’re not swamped or overwhelmed by a certain one.

Noticing and observing how you feel is also important, but try not to dwell too much on one particular emotion/feeling. Perhaps naming the emotions you’re feeling might help. This is so that you can get to the specific root of why you’re feeling the way you are.

This works well for me when I am feeling down or negative. It helps me feel less anxious and allows me to understand the chaos going on in my head.

With that in mind, be gentle with yourself if you feel sad, lonely, worthless or upset. I used to be so disappointed with myself if I wasn’t feeling good one day and didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to do. Why hate on yourself like that? You’re human and not designed to work like a machine. You will have bad days but like I mentioned before, they’re only temporary. So be kind and forgive yourself on those down days.

Mental health shouldn’t be a taboo in society.

Photo by Polina Zimmerman from Pexels

Having a mental health condition is hard enough to live with on a daily basis, why should there be extra external demonization of those who fall in this category?

I will say though, certain countries and societies are better at understanding and accepting mental health issues, as opposed to other countries and societies, which is progress, but we all still have a long way to go.

Seek professional help whenever necessary.

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

I would even go on to say seek therapy and advice even if you don’t have a specific mental health condition. We could all use a little help understanding why we think and feel the way we do.

However, in some countries and cultures getting professional help with a mental health issue may go down on your personal record, jeopardising your chance at a dream job that you’ve always wanted. It is seen as a tarnish on your record and you may be perceived as a liability. Which is pretty messed up in my opinion.

There are therapy apps and such to get around this which keep your identity anonymous when seeking help, but this still keeps mental health issues hidden and bubbling under the surface of societies. I wonder how long it will be until the volcano erupts…?

Thanks for getting this far.

If you want more information, I will link some resources below for you to look at and browse through. Knowledge is power.

It may be difficult to sit with your own thoughts and try to understand what’s actually going on, but if you get into the habit, it will slowly become easier and will improve your mental health and understanding of life in the long run.

I hope you have managed to learn something insightful from this post. Remember, mental health is for life, not just for one designated month out of the year, so it doesn’t matter what pace you’re going at, just as long as you keep going.

Be kind.

Jess x

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Resources for Further Reading

Mental Health Foundation – (UK) This is a landing platform providing suggestions and links for who to see and where to go if you feel like you are developing a mental health condition.

Time to Change – (UK) Another platform providing contact information and helpline numbers of prominent mental health organisations and charities.

NHS – (UK) The NHS have suggestions on what to do if you are part of the LGBTIQ+ community and are seeking mental health advice. They also have a great list of groups and charities for you to visit if you want further practical help.

WHO – (Global) Here you can see what research is being undertaken to better understand mental health on a global scale. Feel free to browse around and educate yourself on this.

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