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By: Faith Smith

After a year of uncertainty, illness, grief, and all the challenges one has faced during the pandemic, you might have found yourself in a state of funk. If so, it’s time to check your gratitude.

It’s easy to ruminate and recount all the tragic events that have taken place, but your thoughts could be keeping you in a vicious cycle of anxiety and depression as you’re searching for normalcy. It’s true! Our thoughts influence our feelings and ultimately our destiny. Therefore, make sure you’re choosing your thoughts wisely. So, you may be wondering what gratitude is. Gratitude has been defined as a feeling of appreciation or thanks. Did you know gratitude has physical and psychological benefits?

What are the psychological benefits?

Studies have shown that people who express gratitude have less stress, less anxiety, increased confidence, healthier sleep patterns, and healthier relationships.

What are the physical benefits?

In a study conducted by Professor Paul Mills of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, it was discovered that patients with cardiovascular disease who expressed more gratitude and engaged in journaling saw reduced levels of inflammation and improved heart rhythm.

How Do I Implement This Technique?

Gratitude can be easily incorporated into your daily routines.

•  You can express gratitude during your morning and nightly routines by journaling or affirming what or who you are grateful for and why.

•  If you enjoy outdoor activities try listing all the things that bring you joy as you spend time in nature.

•  As the holidays are approaching, practice gratitude with your friends and family.

•  On your way to work list three things you love about your career.

•  Have a hard day? Think about who makes you feel loved and why?

Gratitude shifts your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have. It’s not about receiving gifts but being thankful for-and practicing acts of kindness. Life’s more enjoyable when we add a little gratitude.