November is National Gratitude Month, so we want to highlight the benefits of gratitude for good mental health.
Gratitude is the feeling of appreciation and thankfulness for what we have, who we are, and what we experience. It is a positive emotion that can boost our mood, reduce stress, and enhance our relationships. Gratitude can also help us cope with challenges and difficulties, by reminding us of the good things in our lives. When times are tough it can be hard to have gratitude, but if we regularly practice this can help even at the worst of times.
Links with Mental health
Evidence and research suggests that regularly expressing gratitude is associated with a host of mental and physical benefits. Practicing gratitude and feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood, reduce stress levels and positively boost our immune system. Because Gratitude increases mood it can help to decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and lower risk of disease.
How to Practice Gratitude
One way to cultivate gratitude is to keep a gratitude log. This is a journal where you write down things that you are grateful for every day. They can be big or small, personal or general, as long as they make you feel happy and thankful. For example, today I might be grateful for:
- Having a delicious breakfast
- Booking a holiday
- Having a roof over my head
- Going through a good period of physical health
- Finishing a project at work that I was proud of
- Watching a funny movie with my friends or family
- Getting some household chores completed and off my to do list
Writing a gratitude log can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life, rather than the negative ones. It can also help you notice (one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing) and appreciate the things that you might take for granted, such as your health, your home, or your loved ones. By doing this regularly, you can train your brain to be more optimistic and resilient, and improve your overall happiness and satisfaction.
If you want to try this practice, you could start by setting a time and place for your gratitude log. You can do it in the morning, before you start your day, or in the evening, before you go to bed. You can use a notebook, a phone app, or any other tool that works for you. Maybe start with just one thing each time and build up to more. The important thing is to make it a habit and stick to it. See how you feel after completing this for a week and then a month, see if you notice any positive changes.
For Further Support:
For further mental wellbeing support including Emotional Resilience courses or if you want to know more about relaxation techniques or positive distraction and therapeutic activities please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Darlington Mind also has a variety of other services which may be of interest to you and to assist with your mental health, please contact us via the following options: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 01325 283169 Mobile: 07572 888084 – see our services and support