November encourages us to embrace the power of gratitude. Gratitude has the power to shift our focus on negativity to appreciating the positive aspect in our lives. Daily gratitude provides a deeper connection to self, to others, and to the world around us.
Gratitude is a psychological booster in a big way – think mental health therapy! Research shows that gratitude can improve our overall level of health and well-being, enhancing our moods, and decreasing stress. Grateful people have fewer stress-related illnesses like depression and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and are more physically fit, happier, and have more satisfying personal and professional relationships. Even grateful kids are more likely to get A’s in school.
So what does it mean to be grateful? Well, it doesn’t mean pretending everything is fine or being in denial about anything that is going wrong. Cultivating gratitude means choosing to focus your attention on what you appreciate thus, controlling your experience. Because let’s be honest, sooner or later things don’t go our way and life feels out of control. Gratitude gives us something we can control, our thoughts! It’s about appreciating the wonderful ordinary things that we often take for granted. Gratitude is an attitude!!
“There are only two ways to live your life, one is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
By giving attention to the positive, we rebalance our thoughts and emotions. We can use gratitude as a tool to experience joy even when we are having a hard time. But how? How can we practice gratitude? Here are a few easy ways to start brining gratitude in to your every day:
- The best way to start practicing gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal, noting things you are grateful for each day.
- Gratitude meditation is another good way to practice gratitude.
- Handwritten letters and notes are simple and meaningful ways to give thanks to the people in your life
- You can always donate your time by volunteering. Volunteering is selfless and a wonderful way to express gratitude towards the organizations and people working to help others.
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, November is truly a time of giving thanks. Gratitude generates a positive impact on personal and mental well-being. Practicing gratitude isn’t a replacement for therapy. New Perspectives Therapeutic Services has licensed therapists who provide convenient and affordable online therapy.
Searching for mental health support? Looking for a therapist near you? Virtual therapy sessions available!