Many people can look at the practice of gratitude and quickly label it as ‘woo woo’ or that it would not work for them. However, in recent years, research into the power of gratitude has identified the importance that this practice has on our sense of happiness and well-being.
For those who find their mindsets quickly focussing on the negative, catastrophic or challenging, practicing daily gratitude can fundamentally support them to improve their outlook and mood.
Here’s 5 reasons to begin practicing gratitude:
#1 – It changes our outlook – When we embed practicing daily gratitude consistently into our routines, over time, we can train our brain to focus on what is going well, and develop an increased sense of optimism. To practice gratitude, we need to:
1) Recognise what we are grateful for
2) Acknowledge what we are grateful for
3) Appreciate what we are grateful for and our own value
#2 – It improves our sense of reward – When we practice daily gratitude, it begins to activate our dopamine pathways, which bring our sense of reward. For children with ADHD, whose dopamine levels are often lower, this can create the sensations that they frequently seek.
#3 – It improves our mood – When we practice daily gratitude, it enhances our mood and viewpoint of the world. It allows us to train ourselves to look for the positive and what we have gained, rather than a sense of scarcity which creates anxiety and low mood.
#4 – It raises self-esteem – When we consistently practice gratitude, it supports us to raise our self-esteem and confidence, as we are able to see what is good in us and the world around us. Gratitude improves our attitude, and the better we feel, the higher our self-esteem.
#5 – It improves our relationships – Ever noticed that you naturally gravitate away from those who are always focussed on the negative/bad/lost? When we practice daily gratitude, it makes us more magnetic to others, as our outlook and attitude is addictive. If we want to have stronger friendships, we need to be grateful for what we have in our world and for the people in it.
How do we do it?
Daily gratitude can be practiced by:
- Keeping a daily gratitude diary
- Talking through our gratitudes at home (bedtime is a great time to do this)
- By drawing our gratitudes
- By keeping a gratitude book of photos and notes which we are grateful for
Want to learn more?
Are you looking for a deeper understanding of child mental health? Our Level 4 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Coaching Diploma takes you into an in depth dive of child mental health and how you can support. You can join our Level 4 training (here).
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