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Gratitude Practice for Stress and Overwhelm


Positive Psychology and its benefits have been studied for many years. In this post we will explore gratitude, its benefits and how you can use gratitude in your daily life to help reduce stress and overwhelm.


We have all heard of practicing gratitude I am sure, however did you know there is actually scientific evidence to prove that practicing gratitude daily can increase happiness and reduce stress and anxiety?


First let's start with a definition of gratitude. Gratitude is where you show an emotional response to give thanks or appreciation for what you currently have without the current need to be seeking more. Now that is not to say that you shouldn't have goals and seek bigger and better things but in the spirit of being mindful and living in the present moment it is about not letting your future goals or plans devalue what you currently have and how far you have come.


It seems easier said than done right? In Western culture we are programmed largely through social media and marketing to constantly want more. When we achieve our goal that we have been working towards we rarely stop to celebrate our success we just up and move on to our next goal the 'bigger, better. shiner thing'. Can you relate to that?


We constantly compare our life to others what they have, how they live, how they look and wish that our lives were that way. Well, for starters social media is just a highlight reel of someone's life and often include filters and edits, we don't see their hardships or struggles yet we forge on with a 'the grass is always greener on the other side' type mindset. It is just the way we are programmed.


Including a gratitude practice is a great way to train yourself out of the mindset of constantly comparing and instead start to appreciate what you have already have and how dang hard you have worked to get to this point! Like seriously, own it girl! Be proud of yourself and how far you have come!


When we are stressed and overwhelmed it is very easy to focus on what didn't go so well during the day, what didn't get done and still needs to be done tomorrow but by practicing gratitude it can very easily switch a negative mindset to a positive one and reduce your stress levels.


There are a couple of ways that you can practice gratitude so find what works best for you. You can journal everyday 3 things that you are grateful for or went well today. You can even challenge yourself to turn what would have been a negative view of what happened today to a positive ie. what did you learn from the situation?


An example would be I am grateful that I didn't get everything on my list done today because it has prompted me to re-evaluate my list and how much I commit to each day as well as how I ask for help in what needs to get done.


Another great way and this may be my favourite is this, ok here goes. Back when my fiancé and I weren't working from home we would call in the car and speak (via handsfree) on our drive home. Now it is very easy to start complaining about what went wrong during the work day so I would challenge him to state 3 things he was grateful for today and even turn some of the negatives into positives. I encourage you to try this with your partners and if you have children even better speak about this on your drive home from school or at the dinner table.


It can be hard at first to come up with things that you are grateful for and you may begin with surface level things but you will find it gets easier with time and you could easily rattle off 10 things you are grateful for each day. When you reach that point you will notice a great shift in your mindset and stress levels too.


I hope you found this post helpful.


Until next time.


Rebecca x

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