Being Grateful for what we have helps support our mental health. And at the moment, we all need all the help we can get. The fear and uncertainty that surrounds our daily lives at present is challenging for everyone, and even more challenging if you already suffer with anxiety or conditions that affect your mental health
One small thing we can do every day is be grateful. Many studies have shown that expressing gratitude helps people stay healthy and reduces feelings of anxiety and low mood.
Research has also shown that in those suffering with depression or anxiety, the act of writing down some things they were grateful for in a letter helped improve their mental health
Researchers think that writing about what you appreciate and are thankful for moves your focus away from negative thoughts and feelings therefore you are less likely to think about bad things or negative experiences. This helps your brain tune into the positive stuff.
You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, the benefits to mental health exist even if you keep it to yourself.
The research also suggests that the positive effects of being grateful can improve the more you do it- being grateful for a few things every day over a number of days and weeks will be beneficial for your mental health in the longer term.
So try thinking about 3 things you are grateful for and write them down or share them with a friend or family member. Being grateful helps your brain focus on the good stuff and what is great is that no one is too young or good old to get started.
Dr Clara Russell