Dankbarkeit gegen Stress

Gratitude against stress

With gratitude against stress and uncertainty

It’s not easy to take care of your mental health during a pandemic. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we all feel – understandably – much more stressed. One study found that 57% of people experience more anxiety and 53% of us are emotionally exhausted. These types of emotions usually occur when we lose some form of stability in our lives.

Much has changed since the pandemic and many have additional concerns about the health of friends and family members.

Right now, we just don’t know what’s next. Living in a constant state of uncertainty can feel like a race without a finish line or a puzzle without a reference picture. Everything seems unclear, and the worst seems possible.

Of course, this is not a pleasant state to be in right now. So what can we do to minimize the impact of uncertainty on our well-being? While it may not address the root cause, research shows that gratitude can help balance us.

“Gratitude is an emotion that grounds us and is a great way to offset the negative mindset that uncertainty creates” – quote from Dr. Guy Wisch, author of Emotional First Aid.

Gratitude causes our brain to release dopamine and serotonin. Both hormones that make us happier and feel lighter inside. So if you want to help yourself, it’s important to know how to trigger that positive feeling inside of you.

Trigger gratitude

Before we talk about how you can trigger gratitude in yourself, let’s look at why gratitude is so important. You experience gratitude when you shift your focus to what you have and think of the people who contribute to the abundance in your life.

Gratitude against stress

Dr. Robert Emmons, the leading scientific expert on gratitude has found that people who regularly practice gratitude live healthier and happier lives. Also, these people live in better relationships. Further research has shown gratitude helps teams and individuals persevere through difficult tasks.

Think of your mind as a digestive system. How you feed your mind affects how you feel.

If your mind is constantly flooded with worry, envy, resentment, and self-criticism, (including, of course, a flood of negative news and “doomscrolling”) it will have a significant negative impact on your mental well-being.

Gratitude is like a healthy food, for your mind.

In his article, “Why Gratitude Is Good,” Dr. Emmons explains, “You can’t be envious and grateful at the same time. Those are incompatible feelings, because if you’re grateful, you can’t blame someone for having things you don’t have.”

In addition, his research shows that people with high levels of gratitude have low levels of resentment and envy. When we take the time to focus on what we are grateful for, we favor positive emotions over negative ones, taking steps to promote our mental health and well-being.

But how can you trigger gratitude in yourself now?

Possibly you know this too? You want to buy something new and suddenly everyone around you has a new smartphone or the latest winter jacket. When you think of a new car, you suddenly see it driving around everywhere. You just see what you consciously or unconsciously focus on.

So if you want to trigger gratitude in yourself, intentionally direct your focus to it. The easiest way to do this, are fixed rituals and / or specific questions.

For example, if you are constantly tense or worried, constantly thinking about why things might not work out, pause for a moment. Below is a list of questions you can ask yourself specifically:

– What have I learned lately that has helped me move forward?

– What opportunities do I currently have that I am grateful for?

– What physical abilities do I have that I take for granted?

– What did I see today or last month that was beautiful?

– Who at work do I like to see every day and why?

– Who is a person I don’t talk to often, but if I lost them tomorrow, that would be devastating? (Take this as an incentive to sign up today!).

– What can I do better today than I could a year ago?

– What material object do I use every day that I am grateful for?

– What has someone done for me lately that I am grateful for?

– What are the three things I am grateful for right now?

By taking time to write down your responses, you consciously direct your attention to what you are grateful for. You can also look back and think about whether what you thought was insignificant or normal is exactly the point that brings you joy.

Gratitude Journal

Jae Ellard, founder of Simple Intentions, a mindfulness-based consulting firm, recommends ending the day with thoughts of gratitude. She recommends taking specific time in the morning and evening to do this, and to think about it.

Gratitude against stress

Dr. Winch suggests “writing a paragraph each day about one thing we are truly grateful for and why that thing matters to us.” He says, “This brings positive thoughts and feelings into an emotional climate that tips too far into the negative. We can also focus our gratitude practice on the significant things in our lives of which we are certain, such as our friendships, our passions, or our family, reminding us that while there is uncertainty in some aspects of our lives, there is certainty in many others.”

Write down everything you are truly grateful for. Your recent successes, being able to enjoy your favorite meal with a loved one tonight, that great evening with friends, your health… you realize the list is long.

You can incorporate gratitude rituals in your work, too. For example, at the end of the week, when everyone talks about positive experiences and successes.

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