Mental Health 101 – Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

practicing gratitude, being thankful
Image Courtesy : Photo by Gabrielle Hernderson on Unsplash

The pandemic has not been easy for the best of us. Being cooped up and losing the freedom to choose is a demanding situation. From the change in the work scenarios to opportunities lost and created, the corona has sure taken a toll on all of us mentally and emotionally. In reality, the truth is we do not give our mental health their due. For leading the life you deserve, it is important that you give as much importance to your mental and emotional health as much as your physical health. So, let us begin with something really simple and really amazing – practicing gratitude.

What exactly I mean by Practicing Gratitude?

Just jot down 3 things every single day which you are thankful for. You do this either the first thing in the morning or the last thing at night before you go to sleep.

You can do it on paper, keep a journal for this purpose or do it digitally. Whatever suits you best. This is not a therapy recommended for people who are depressed or extremely stressed. This practice can be followed by anyone. Basically, being thankful is one of the simplest way to increase the happiness quotient in your life. People who are happy lead a better quality of life and inspire happiness in others around them. And, personally, this practice coupled with a few others helped me to gain a better frame of mind over the years and focus on what is actually important as opposed to just running in a rat race.

Also Read : How to Manage Mental Health and Stress? 

Practicing Gratitude makes you Happy

In a rush to get things done and to reach the next milestone, we often forget to take stock of our life and how farther ahead we have come from where we had started. Practicing gratitude makes you grounded and keeps you in touch with the most amazing things in your life. Doing this everyday makes you happy, improves your mood and makes you appreciate how far you have come instead of focusing on what you do not have.

Practicing Gratitude improves your Relationships

The more conscious you are of everything in your life, the more conscious you become of the people around you. You realize their significance in a better way and understand how they have influenced your life for the better. In fact, your awareness of human psyche evolves to the extent of understanding their experiences and perspectives. Reaching that stage, I feel, is a huge milestone in itself. When you are so thankful to people in your lives, you consciously put more effort into your relationships which in turn leads them to reciprocate your emotions with the same intensity.

Every single day, three different things and all positive. It can be about you, about everything in your life like your assets, relationships, situations, successes, anything at all, no matter how small.

Practicing Gratitude helps you Connect the Dots

One of the side effect of keeping a gratitude journal is that over a course of time, you will delve into your past, present and future and this helps you connect the dots over a period of time. You realize how the events in your past shaped up your present, what could have been better and what could have been handled more gracefully. You learn from your own experiences because you are taking a moment to pause and reflect. And, hopefully, if you continue in the same fashion, you will carry your learning to a better today and tomorrow.

So, these were my 2 bits about being thankful in life. And, of course, be thankful that you are alive and thriving well enough to come across this article. That means you are doing better than 80%* of people in India itself. I hope you will try out this practice once and see how it works out for you, if nothing else. I would sincerely request you to give it a try once. Even if it doesn’t work, it won’t do you any harm but by not trying, you might miss out on something life changing.

Till then, Swathy.

*Well, that is just a random number but yes it did make you feel better!

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