Gratitude is an underrated emotion, it’s a feeling of thankfulness and more importantly a realization of all the good that’s there in life. So how can an attitude of gratitude impact our mental and emotional wellbeing? It’s simple. It is a realization that makes us sit up and take notice of all the positive things that life has to offer, an attitude of gratitude helps shift the focus from the negative to the positive. Simply put, it turns us into happier, more content and optimistic versions of ourselves.
Jasdeep Mago, Mental Health Expert, Co-founder & CEO of Invisible Illness, said during Fiama’s Feel Good Conversations, an IG Live event “Research shows that practicing gratitude activates certain areas in the brain’s frontal lobe that bring about a feel-good factor, as the brain releases neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin which predominantly govern the emotions of happiness and satisfaction. These two neurotransmitters are responsible for our mood and how we feel, practicing gratitude gives us the power to boost our mood and enhance our own wellbeing. Gratitude has a lot of relevance to science and neurobiology, it is proven that if we train our brain every day to express gratitude, over time it becomes a natural way of life. Gratitude is a hope-filled practice, that gives you reassurance and contentment.”
Here’s how you can cultivate an attitude of gratitude to boost your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Acknowledge the small things: If there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it’s to appreciate the small things, be it a good meal, a hearty laugh, an interrupted chat with your best friend, a yoga routine that went right, a healthy functioning body or just a bright sunny morning to wake up to. Irrespective of where you are in life, the idea is to place value in these moments, to make us appreciate and look at the bright side of life.
Live in the moment: As someone rightly said, happiness is a journey, not a destination. We are constantly striving to achieve something, making self-promises to be happy once we’ve acquired something or reached a certain milestone. But guess what, it’s important to live in the moment, to look for joy, to enjoy the process of getting to the destination.
Pray: Praying invokes the emotion of hope and hope is a lovely feeling, it makes us look past the darkest times and visualize a more positive outcome. The act of praying helps align our intentions and express gratitude to the seen and unseen forces of nature. It is a moment of solitude that helps put things in perspective and makes us count our blessings and give our thanks for everything that’s going well in our lives
Appreciate yourself: While we express gratitude towards others, it’s equally important to express gratitude to ourselves, to our body, to our mind for all the accomplishments. Self-gratitude is a moment of self-reflection, a pat on the back to acknowledge and appreciate your own efforts. A lot of us tend to get into self-critique mode which can harm our mental and emotional health. Look at it this way, if you can forgive others or appreciate others why not extend the same courtesy to yourself.
Express Gratitude: Learn to say thanks more often, condition your mind to not just appreciate but also express the emotion of gratitude. Expressing gratitude can have a domino effect on everyone around you, it has the power to alleviate the collective mood of an entire place. Try saying thank you more often and you will notice a remarkable change in the behavior and attitude of people around you.