Why Is Practicing Gratitude Pertinent For Mental Well-Being?
21st September is observed worldwide as World Gratitude Day.
A mental health impact of the ongoing pandemic was inevitable. Over 55% of Indians experienced a significant rise in their stress levels as per a YourDOST study. Additionally, there was a significant rise in their feelings of anxiety, loneliness and anger. But where does one start when it comes to improving their mental health? The answer is unbelievably simple - practice gratitude.
21st September is observed worldwide as World Gratitude Day. On this occasion, let’s learn about how gratitude and good mental health are interlinked.
Gratitude has a strong correlation and is persistently linked to enhanced happiness in positive psychology research. Human beings have a tendency to focus on negatives and it was helpful for survival during our ancient past. However, in modern times, this leads to anxiety and worry. Gratitude journals and expressing gratitude help us to focus on the positives in our lives and have a balanced and realistic outlook. According to Chief Psychology Officer, Dr. Jini Gopinath, “Gratitude aids in developing alternate perspectives in difficult situations. Neurotransmitters that are related to positive feelings are released while expressing gratitude, and this can reinforce a positive outlook.”
● Boosts self-esteem
Appreciating and recognizing the good things around us boosts our confidence. Being grateful helps us to feel less envy of others and we overcome the tendencies to compare ourselves with others. Higher levels of self-esteem lead to the greater mental well-being of an individual.
● Stepping stone to building a meaningful relationship
People often think that bringing compassion, gratitude into work is unprofessional. How often do you take the time out to appreciate a job well done? Do you have the quality of complimenting others? Are you an empathetic manager who recognizes the efforts of your team or somebody who thinks your team got lucky with an opportunity? Being appreciative breaks through their defenses and suddenly makes you more approachable. Your teams will feel motivated to work with you if you practise being thankful and acknowledging their efforts.
● Keeps you mentally fit and cultivate calmness
Gratitude is related to 23 percent lower levels of stress hormones (cortisol). Studies suggest that people who are slightly higher on the gratitude scale tend to react less aggressively even when they have to deal with negative feedback. This is because gratitude reduces the toxic effects of envy, frustration, and other negative thoughts. There are associations between gratitude and one's well-being. Some researchers even state that gratitude increases happiness and have an optimistic approach towards life
Practical ways to practice gratitude in your everyday life
● Keep a gratitude journal
Before bedtime or early morning, cultivate the habit of keeping a gratitude journal where you can make a note of the things you are grateful for. It could be for a nice cup of coffee, an appreciation from your boss, or playtime with your pet.
Engage yourself in helping the community around you. Practising volunteering can make you sense the gratefulness of the people you are helping and allows you to mirror the same in your life. This also makes you part of a bigger purpose apart from your personal goals and achievements.
Considering we spend half our lives at work, workplaces should consider bringing in gratitude as a part of their culture. Apart from gratitude days, teams should make it a point to pass appreciation and recognition cards to their teammates. Incorporating gratitude as a part of your organization’s culture can create well-rounded individuals who are happier and compassionate.
About the author -
Richa Singh, CEO & Co- founder, YourDOST
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