Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it’s a cornerstone of the holiday season. During this time of the year, there are a number of things to think about. But, the big thing about Thanksgiving is that it’s all about the practice of gratitude. Practicing gratitude is a great way to stay present and mindful. It can help with improving mood, positively changing the way you think, and even rewiring your brain to emit more mood-boosting neurotransmitters. So, learning new ways to practice gratitude can be a great tool for people working on their mental well-being. Especially, during the time of year that revolves around thankfulness.
So, what are some ways to practice gratitude that you can use in your own life this holiday season?
One of the best ways to practice gratitude is to write down what you’re grateful for in a notepad, on a computer, or even in your phone notes. Writing things down keeps them personal, so this can make practicing gratitude something that’s done for yourself. With practice, you’ll start to see that you have lots to be grateful for on a daily basis. Start by writing down one thing that you’re grateful for every day. Soon enough, you’ll find that you have more to be grateful for than you ever may think – and you’ll have them written down so that you can go back over them if you’re ever feeling that you don’t have enough in your life to feel grateful about.
Practicing gratitude for the things and people in your life is a great place to start. But, what is most challenging for many is how to practice gratitude for the self. People struggling with mental health issues often also struggle with self-confidence and self-esteem. So, it can be helpful to practice self-gratitude in order to overcome these issues. This can look like telling yourself every day something you’re grateful for about yourself. For example, “I’m grateful for my health”, “I’m grateful that I’m strong”, or “I’m grateful that I’m a good parent”. When we practice gratitude daily and tell ourselves why we’re grateful for ourselves, it begins to get easier and becomes something that’s natural.
Another good way to practice gratitude is to show others how you’re grateful for them. This can help to make others who you’re grateful for to feel special. Ways to practice this can include visiting someone who you haven’t seen in a while, giving someone a gift, making someone a meal, or writing someone a thoughtful letter. So, think of people who have impacted your life in positive ways and share this with them by telling them or doing something for them that makes them feel appreciated.
Learning how to practice gratitude can be a great way to improve mood and deal with negative issues that come along the way on the recovery to better mental health. Gratitude is an important aspect to navigate during treatment and recovery and is implemented throughout treatment approaches so that people can practice this technique. And, be able to utilize it outside treatment walls. At Delray Center for Healing, we implement gratitude into many of our therapy techniques including mindfulness meditation, yoga, and more. Find out more about our mental health services and treatment on our website.