The past few years have been uncertain times for us. Since the pandemic began, research suggests that 57% of people are facing more anxiety while 53% are emotionally exhausted. This kind of stress arises when we lose stability in our lives. Living in a constant state of stress and uncertainty may feel like running a race with no finish line. So, what can be done to minimize the impact of such uncertain times on our lives? While there are a lot of complex solutions to this issue, the simplest one that all can avail of us is practicing gratitude. When we choose gratitude, we release dopamine and serotonin, two hormones that make us feel happy and light. Hence, we must try practicing gratitude for stress relief during these uncertain times.
Before we choose gratitude for stress relief, let us understand why it is so important. Whenever we shift our focus from the things we do not have to the things we do and take time to appreciate and be thankful for those who have contributed to our lives, we tend to experience gratitude. From controlling anger to having healthier and happier relationships, practicing gratitude regularly can help us lead happier lives.
Try to imagine your mind as your digestive system. Whatever you put in will determine how you feel. Flaming your mind with envy, resentment, and self-criticism can negatively impact your mental well-being. Practicing gratitude, therefore, becomes as important for your mind as working out, and a healthy diet is for your body. Additionally, people who choose gratitude also exhibit low levels of envy and resentment. If we focus on the things we are grateful for, we choose our positive emotions over the negative ones, which can nurture our mental health and well-being. Let us try and understand how to trigger gratitude in our lives.
How to Trigger Gratitude
Whenever we consider buying something new like a phone or a jacket, everyone around us has it. This is because we tend to see anything we are focused on, consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, if we wish to trigger gratitude within ourselves, we must focus on what we are grateful for. Here are a few simple methods for practicing gratitude.
Stop and Reflect
If you often find yourself hyper-focused or stuck in a constant state of stress and uncertainty, you must stop and ask yourself one of these questions.
- What have I learned recently that has helped me to grow?
- What are the current opportunities that I am grateful for?
- What are some of the physical abilities that I take for granted?
- What did I see today or in the last month that was beautiful?
- Who are those people at work that I am happy to see daily, and why?
- Who is that person I do not speak to often but would be devastated to lose? (Use this as a cue to reach out to them)
- What is something that you are better at today than you were a year ago?
- What are those objects that I use regularly and am thankful for having?
- What has someone done for me recently that I am grateful for?
- What are three things that I am grateful for?
If you can find the answers to these questions, we can divert our attention to the things we are grateful for. It is also a great way to reflect and realize things that we may have considered insignificant earlier, but those are the things that have brought us happiness.
Read Also: The Role of Psychological Well Being
Create a Gratitude Journal
Another common practice to trigger gratitude within ourselves is maintaining a daily gratitude journal. Jae Ellard is the founder of Simple Intentions, a mindful-based consulting company. She recommends that one must book-end their day with thoughts of gratitude. She also advises taking some time out at the beginning and end of each day for reflection. It can be for anything as simple as a good meal. We must also focus our exercise on those meaningful things we are certain about. It can be anything from our passions to our friendships to our family. Amidst uncertain times, these are those aspects of our lives where we can find certainty.
Make It a Habit
You must make it your habit to choose gratitude. It can be even for the simplest of things. This daily habit helps us focus on the positive aspects of our lives and inspires others to follow suit. Another way to create this ritual is to start each meeting or productive session with a minute of gratefulness. You can also invite friends or team members to select a few questions mentioned above and discuss their answers.
These are a few simple practices that can help trigger gratitude in your life. Practicing gratitude can not only help you become better versions of yourself but can probably help you lead a happier and more satisfying life.
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