The world feels like it’s been turned upside down overnight during these challenging times of coronavirus pandemic. One can often feel like a black cloud casting a dark shadow over our lives. The feelings of stress and fear make it easy to be thankless towards life. When it is hard to feel grateful, it perhaps becomes more important than ever to focus on Gratitude — the conscious effort to be thankful and acknowledge everything you have in life. Gratitude shifts our focus from what life lacks to the abundance that is already present.
The benefits of practicing Gratitude are wide-ranging. Famous psychologist Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis researched Gratitude and its effects. In his book “Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier”, he highlighted numerous benefits of practicing Gratitude. He indicated that practicing daily gratitude results in higher levels of enthusiasm, will power, self-confidence, and energy. It enhances one’s personal as well as societal well-being.
Gratitude is a strong emotion; it is a magic pill that reduces tension, depression, anger, and boosts your energy levels, improves your mood, and helps you sleep better. People who are thankful for little things in life are optimistic, stress-free, and have high immunity levels as compared to people under stress. Another study conducted by Robert Emmons indicated that grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular physical examinations, which makes them lead a happy life.
So, if you practice Gratitude, especially during this pandemic, you can gain various benefits. I am not trying to advocate to express Gratitude instead of emotions of anxiety, fear, or confusion, which you might be currently experiencing. I am just helping to look for ways for yourself to gain confidence and practice self-care.
Following are a few simple ways to practice Gratitude daily:
- Start by taking a few moments to recognize all those things that are going well in your life.
- Feel a sense of abundance in your life.
- Appreciate the contributions of others in your life.
- Enjoy life’s small pleasures and blessings.
Initially, it might be that these attitudes do not come to you naturally. Initially, these attitudes may not come to you naturally, but, therefore, deliberately paying attention to these positive attitudes the positives you can train yourself to see more and more of them. It will make you realize that you have most of what you need and a lot of what you want in life. You have people to love you, food to eat, a bed to sleep in, and a roof over your head and so on.
Try to relax and sit down to list your Joys. Make this a regular habit, set aside a few minutes each day to purposely practice Gratitude, and you will feel a change. I must say: Go ahead, try it out right now.
What or who do you have in your life to be thankful for? I am sure your list will not end soon.