Acknowledging gratitude and practicing positivity may seem like simple strategies, but they can have a dramatic effect on your overall wellbeing. Studies show that those who practice gratitude tend to be more resilient against stress than their counterparts who don’t practice gratitude regularly.
Try focusing on what makes you happy, and document them so you can recall them during times of need.
1. Practice gratitude.
Practicing gratitude can be an effective way to enhance your mood, reduce negative energy and strengthen relationships. It can also help build self-esteem, enhance sleep quality and boost energy. Like any muscle, gratitude is something you can strengthen by practicing it regularly and expanding its strength.
An ever-increasing body of research has linked gratitude with positive outcomes such as greater happiness, reduced depression and anxiety levels, better sleep, higher energy levels, lower cell inflammation levels, better management skills in the workplace and spiritual well-being. Furthermore, its capacity for encouraging prosocial behavior makes gratitude a predictor of reduced lifetime risks of depression/anxiety disorders as well as resilience against suicidal thoughts (Emmons & McCullough 2003).
Emmons’ research has demonstrated that people who regularly practice gratitude are more optimistic about the future. According to one 2018 study, just 10 weeks of gratitude practice were sufficient for participants to alter their outlook and become more likely to believe things will get better in life.
One effective way to practice gratitude is keeping a gratitude journal, or “counting your blessings”. Martin Seligman recommends this approach as it trains your brain to focus more on positive emotions while less time dwells on negative ones.
Moskowitz suggests that cultivating gratitude requires noting the good things around you, such as an idyllic sunset or your friends’ smiles. Take the initiative to express your thanks to others and show them you appreciate them.
2. Take time for yourself.
Taking time for yourself and enjoying a game on platforms thro’ Yoakim Bridge is vital in maintaining emotional wellness. By prioritizing self-care, your ability to process negative feelings and access positive ones increases, as well as giving you extra energy for positivity and gratitude.
One way to cultivate gratitude is to count your blessings. Take some time each week and list three to five things for which you’re thankful, paying particular attention to how each makes you feel. Mindfulness meditation can also help promote this state of being: tune into what’s going on around you by tuning into sensory stimuli such as coffee aroma or bird song outside your window and focus solely on them without judgment.
Gratitude exercises can also encourage prosocial behaviors like helping others, which is another key aspect of mental health. Research indicates that those who express gratitude tend to be more generous and supportive toward friends and family members.
When feeling down or overwhelmed, it can be helpful to acknowledge that your feelings are valid. Comparing yourself to others’ can make finding happiness hard; also avoid toxic positivity spaces where statements such as “Just choose happiness!” may encourage an unhealthy reliance on positive vibes which isn’t sustainable long term.
If you’re having difficulty accessing positive emotions, consider consulting a mental health professional. BetterHelp offers online therapy sessions accessible to anyone; if anxiety or depression is plaguing your life, talking with a counselor could provide helpful coping mechanisms and support services.
3. Create a positive environment.
Create an environment that encourages gratitude and positive emotions can make a world of difference, both at work and home. A simple step to create this environment can be keeping a gratitude journal or making a conscious effort to appreciate all that’s good in your life – taking a moment when feeling down or distressed to think of the taste of fresh strawberries or the soft touch of your favorite blanket can help shift focus towards something more pleasant.
Research indicates that those who exhibit more gratitude in the workplace report greater job satisfaction. A simple way to do this could be making an effort to compliment co-workers more often or including gratitude exercises in meetings or team building activities; gratitude practices also help employees feel as though their contributions are valued within an organization (Desteno, Li Dickens & Lerner 2014).
One of the key aspects of having a positive mindset is having the resilience necessary to bounce back from difficulties, known as resilience. Building resilience requires healthy coping strategies and social support systems – practicing gratitude can be especially useful for those dealing with depression or anxiety.
Focusing on positive aspects may lead to happier times, but sometimes negative emotions will still arise. When this occurs, it is essential to identify what’s bothering you and address these concerns directly – this could include writing in a gratitude journal, talking to trusted friends or seeking professional mental health services for advice.
4. Practice mindfulness.
When we think of mindfulness, our minds may often conjure images of monks sitting silently atop mountains or yoga practitioners in poses. But mindfulness goes far beyond being just a form of meditation: it’s about living in the present and becoming aware of your thoughts, feelings and surroundings.
Mindfulness is an effective practice to relieve stress and improve mental health, applicable for any individual – even those struggling with mental illness.
Research indicates that practicing mindfulness can help decrease negative thinking patterns and boost working memory, making tasks simpler to accomplish and remembering information easier. Furthermore, practicing mindfulness fosters a more compassionate attitude – something especially helpful for individuals experiencing trauma.
Studies demonstrate how mindful meditation can change the structure of your brain – a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. Meditation may increase thickness in areas involved with emotional regulation and planning while decreasing activity in amygdala regions that regulate fear responses such as anxiety.
Mindfulness can be challenging to master for those living with a busy mind, yet essential in maintaining mental and emotional wellness. For many it can be challenging to stop the seemingly constant stream of thoughts about work, home life and social events; yet its essential nature requires our efforts.
Practice mindfulness can range from as simple as focusing on breathing to incorporating it into family activities such as encouraging members of your household to dine quietly or making mealtimes screen-free times.
5. Practice gratitude.
Gratitude is an integral component of a positive mindset. By practicing gratitude regularly, it can help uplift mood, provide respite from negativity, increase self-worth and strengthen relationships; foster empathy and compassion toward others and improve sleep quality and immune function – researchers have even found that people who practice gratitude tend to be more patient!
Practice gratitude through words or writing it down; even small gestures like thanking someone or acknowledging an accomplishment can help establish the habit. Being intentional and regular with this practice is most beneficial; taking time in the morning to consider and appreciate all you’re thankful for can give your day a more positive start, enhancing mindfulness meditation practice as a result.
Research has demonstrated that gratitude activates brain circuits which are both plastic – meaning you can develop them over time – and durable, as can be seen from studies like one published in 2016. In 2016, participants of an 8 week gratitude practice witnessed increased brain activity when thinking of all that’s good in their lives after only 3 months.
Gratefulness can help us shift our attention away from material things that provide instant but short-term gratification, toward intangible elements that contribute to long-term happiness – for instance, acknowledging your health is one way of showing our appreciation of its many contributions to your well being.
People who practice gratitude often feel more connected to those around them and more likely to want to maintain healthy relationships, since they view friends and loved ones as valuable assets. Furthermore, practicing gratitude encourages reciprocation of kindness which can result in stronger bonds and less toxic interactions between people.