Gratitude is a common theme in many of the books that I read, probably because it is the backbone to good mental health. If there is one good habit above all that we should practice each and every day it is being thankful. This can be extremely hard when our mental health is not in the best of places, but hard work is essential in overcoming adversities. Several research studies have shown that practicing gratitude can considerably reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. In Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project, she recommends creating a daily gratitude journal where you write down three things you are grateful for. The key is to write something down every single day. Taking time to stop and reflect on our daily lives forces us to perceive situations in different, hopefully more positive, ways. Get creative with your gratitude, mix things up, get specific, look beyond the obvious.
When we reframe our minds to appreciate the struggles, our lives can change for the better. More often than not when you talk to someone who has overcome a hardship they will admit that they are grateful for having gone through it. This gratitude may come months or years down the road but the journey has positively affected their life in one way or another. I am a big believer that through heartache and struggle we can triumph. Without dark times we can never truly learn to appreciate the good times. I challenge you to start your own gratitude practice, try it out for a significant amount of time and see how your life changes. What are you grateful for today? Is there a certain experience in your life that has changed you for the better?