Gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day.
This is a guest post by South Pacific Private who explain how management can improve mental wellness strategies in the workplace.
The benefits of practicing gratitude are significant. It has been shown that people who regularly practice gratitude and are actively reflective, thankful and forgiving. They also benefit from a plethora of advantages. These include, experiencing more positive emotions, feeling more alert and energised, healthier and more regular sleep patterns and more experience with kindness in daily life.
Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and also has an impact on depression.
Gratitude can also play a role in improving psychological health. It was seen that gratitude can actually reduce the incidence of a number of toxic emotions. Studies shows the impact of gratitude was significant enough to reduce toxic emotions ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret.
So why aren’t more of us practising gratitude regularly? Why isn’t it a part of our everyday routines?
At South Pacific Private Hospital, we believe in the importance of practising mindfulness, gratitude and in regular journaling. On a daily basis the client community engage in ten minutes of mindfulness and also name what they are grateful for in certain community based meetings.
However, gratitude doesn’t just improve mental health. It has also been shown to support increased mental strength and levels of empathy while concurrently reducing rates of aggression.
A 2012 study by the University of Kentucky observed that participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even in the face of negative or constructive feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.
If gratitude, forgiveness and mindfulness aren’t yet part of your daily mantra, perhaps this article can help support your interest in it and help you to take a step toward it. The benefits are without question. The challenge that remains is creating a pattern in your life whereby this becomes ‘part of what you do’ as opposed to something you have to remind yourself to do.
11 simple ideas for practising gratitude
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Reflect at the end of each day on what you are grateful for
- Put yourself in the path of beauty or nature daily and reflect on what you see
- Tell someone how much you appreciate them and why you are grateful for them
- Include an act of kindness in your life each day
- Volunteer for organisations that help others and give back
- Commit to one day a week when you will look for the positives in your day
- Forgive someone or something in order to give yourself the space to let it go
- Live mindfully and try to take one day at a time. Don’t focus too much on the past or the future but try to be in the present
- Create a gratitude jar, write down something you are grateful for daily and then read them back at the end of the year to reflect
- Pay attention to your senses—everything you’re seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and maybe even tasting—and see how many things you can find to feel grateful for
This list of ideas for your own practice may seem overly simple. However, many research projects and studies have repeatedly shown that the results are overwhelmingly positive. Put simply, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
South Pacific Private supports mental health and addictions through our proven and unique program. Part of that program encompasses gratitude, mindfulness and journaling. We believe that the research supporting the links between gratitude and mental health, depression and mental strength (or resilience) are an important part of the process of lasting change for individuals who are working on transforming their lives from addiction to sobriety or from depression to mental wellbeing.
If you need support around addictions or other mental illness you can call us 24/7 (including weekends) on 1800 063 332 or visit www.southpacificprivate.com.au.