Covid 19 Letter to Patients

Gratitude Can Change Your Life

By: Amanda Dolan. May 2021

What if there was a way to positively affect your physical and mental health by simply introducing emotion and practicing it daily? Many people may not believe it but having an attitude of gratitude can change your life!

Expressing gratitude isn’t as easy as it sounds. A large factor is that we live in a world where negativity makes continuous rounds on the news and multiple social media outlets on almost an hourly basis. With so much negativity and instability in the world right now, you may ask yourself how it’s even possible to be thankful or show gratitude. The key to practicing an attitude of gratitude is developing certain healthy habits that will positively affect the way your mind processes certain issues.

How Does Gratitude Improve Your Life?

You don’t have to be a scientist to recognize that negative thoughts affect your mood. They create anger, frustration, depression, and anxiety. Unfortunately, thinking and speaking negatively can easily become a habit, which ultimately becomes a lifestyle.

Taking time out of your day to reflect on at least one thing in your life that’s going well can spark happiness. Showing appreciation improves your mental health by giving the mind a break from negativity and ridding yourself of frustration and anger.

Think about it—when you’re grateful for your health, you show appreciation to your body by making healthy choices and by taking care of yourself. When you’re grateful for the relationships and friendships in your life, you nurture them and create positive memories together. Gratitude can shift your perspectives and make you think in healthy ways that you may not have been able to before.

Healthy Habits

There are small things you can do to jumpstart your gratitude muscle. Here are three simple ways:

  1. Focus on ONE thing that went right today. It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant. It just has to be something that made you smile or feel relief. Even something as small as getting a good parking spot at the grocery store counts!
  2. Physically write a list of things or people that you are grateful for and explain why. Don’t be discouraged if your list is difficult to create. It takes time. Don’t try to make a mental list. You may find that as you physically write things out, more ideas will quickly come to you.
  3. Call someone and explain the impact they’ve had on your life. Expressing appreciation out loud is cathartic and strengthens relationships, which leads to feelings of relief and happiness.

It’s Never Too Late to Start

If you feel like you’re stuck in a toxic lifestyle or struggle with chronic depression, it may be hard to believe that being thankful can change your life…but it can. It may not happen overnight, but eventually, the positive shift will happen. Your thoughts are like muscles. You need to work your mind out to improve your thoughts. Be patient with yourself and take baby steps. Practicing gratitude and adopting positive daily habits can lead to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. All you need to do is decide to start!

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