Being Thankful Can Boost Mental Health
We all have bad days. Whether it’s from loss, frustration, loneliness or other circumstances going on in our lives, every one of us has been through tough times.
“The last eight months have been especially hard for everyone, with the pandemic changing the way we live our daily lives,” explains Jennifer Kugler, LPC, ACS, Senior Program Director, Behavioral Health Services. “Though there are a lot of negatives in the world right now, if we show gratitude and look for the positive aspects in our lives, we can feel better both physically and mentally and have an easier time getting through each day."
What better time than at Thanksgiving to show our gratitude for all we have. Research suggests that when we focus on how grateful we are, even for the small things, we can help to combat depression, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Try these 5 way to express gratitude and see the change in your mood and mindset:
1. If you are involved in a bad situation causing stress and hurt, take a step back and think of one positive in your life. Remember, this too shall pass.
2. Close your eyes for a few seconds and think good thoughts. Focus on what is going well. Tune out all of the negatives.
3. Say thank you. Whether by phone, in person or in a text message, saying thank you shows you are grateful for someone else. In turn, it can reinforce positive feelings for you as well.
4. Keep a journal. Every day, write down a few things you are grateful for. Although there might be times that you feel down and out, you’d be surprised how much you can include in your list.
5. Meditate. Being mindful allows you to focus on the present without judgment. Calming your mind and focusing on pleasant things, like the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, or beautiful music, can all remove negativity.
This Thanksgiving, more than ever, will have more meaning for all of us as we look back on previous months and hardships, we have all had to face. Show gratitude on that day and every day. Remember, positivity brings happiness to your world.
If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time, counseling and additional support can help. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632 x9500) for more information about our counseling and telehealth services.