Everyone will agree that the events of the pandemic will have a long and lasting effect on mental health. There is much to move us into states of negativity and fear. The good news seems difficult to find. Yet, the positive response in our bodies and minds to gratitude can actually help to combat the stress response to fear and negativity.
It may feel like quite a feat right now to focus on gratitude. Start with a very simple awareness of small moments. A smile of reassurance, a warm and comfortable home, a delicious meal. Keep a designated note pad or pen close by to jot down your gratitude throughout the day or create an intentional time to reflect and write in a gratitude journal.
Gratitude is a mindset. We can choose to see our cup as half full or half empty. We can choose to recognize all that we are blessed with or wallow in what is not. Do we need to cultivate gratitude? I think so. A daily gratitude practice can more easily move us past the thorns and to the roses. Is it easy? Not always. We are wired for negativity. Our survival depends on negativity. We anticipate the worst to protect ourselves and ensure the continuation of the species.
Even so here are a few simple instructions. Try them out and see where your gratitude journey takes you.
Begin your daily gratitude practice with a few moments of your time and a dedicated notebook.
Take a few minutes to breathe and consider what is there to be grateful for in this moment.
Clean air, a friend, a kindness, Spring flowers, a beautiful sky.... Write down just one gratitude a day.
Take a moment to reflect.
Continue into your day.
With practice gratitude becomes more of a familiar attitude. Life is brightened by the outlook. The moments when it is difficult to see with clarity the abundance that is right in front of us can be transformed more quickly.
Practice until you reach 1000 Gratitude’s. You will automatically have changed your mindset.
Consistency is the key to long lasting benefit.
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