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Using Gratitude to Counter Stress and Uncertainty

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It's not easy to look after our mental health amid a pandemic. We've all been feeling a lot more stressed since the outbreak started, which is understandable. According to one research, 57 percent of respondents are feeling more anxious, and 53 percent are feeling more emotionally drained. When we lose some type of stability in our life, we are more likely to experience these emotions. We simply do not know what will happen next.

Naturally, this is not a pleasant state of mind to be in. So, what can we do to aid the negative effects of uncertainty on our well-being? Accordinging to study, gratitude can help us even out these negative emotions even though it doesn't address the core issue.

"Gratitude is a feeling of being grounded, and it's a terrific approach to counteract the negative mindset that uncertainty creates," says Dr. Guy Winch, author of Emotional First Aid. Our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two substances that help us feel lighter and happier on the inside, when we express our gratitudes. Understanding how to generate this sensation is a crucial skill to have at our disposal if we want to take better care of our minds during this pandemic.

Let's look at why thankfulness is so essential in our lives. When we turn our emphasis from what we don't have to what we do do, and when we take the time to recognize and be grateful for those who have contributed to our lives' abundance, we experience gratitude. Dr. Robert Emmons, the world's foremost scientific expert on gratitude, and others have discovered that people who practice gratitude on a regular basis are healthier, happier, and have better relationships.

Consider your mind to be similar to your digestive system: what you put in it has an impact on how you feel. When you constantly bombard your mind with fear, envy, resentment, and self-criticism, it has a bad influence on your mental health. A gratitude practice is similar to a mental workout and a nutritious diet that is beneficial to your body.

How do we make ourselves feel grateful? It's simple. We take our time to refocus our attention.

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Have you ever noticed that when you're looking for a new phone or clothing, everyone else seems to have it as well? That's because whatever we're concentrating on, consciously or subconsciously, becomes what we see. We must consciously shift our focus to what we are grateful for if we wish to encourage gratitude in ourselves. The simplest method is to use questions and prompts, as well as a few daily habits.

Take a moment to think about it.

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Try pausing for a second and asking yourself one or two of the following questions.

What have I recently learned that has benefited my growth?

  1. What are some of the current opportunities for which I am grateful?

  2. What physical abilities do I have but overlook?

  3. What did I experience today, or in the previous month, that was particularly lovely?

  4. Who do I look forward to seeing each day at work, and why?

  5. Who is someone I don't talk to very often but would be devastated if I lost them tomorrow?

  6. What do I know now that I didn't know a year ago?

  7. What material object do I utilize on a daily basis that I am grateful for?

  8. What are the things that someone has done for you that you are appreciative for?

  9. What are three things I am grateful for right now?

We consciously refocus our attention to what we are grateful for by taking the time to write down our answers. It's also a great opportunity to look back and remember that the things we thought were insignificant, but were actually the things that made us happy.

Write a gratitude journal

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Keeping a daily thankfulness notebook is a good frequent practice that you can adopt. The founder of mindful-based consulting company Simple Intentions, Jae Ellard, suggests ending your day with thankfulness. She encourages setting aside a few minutes for reflection at the start and end of each day. Maybe it's just the fresh pomegranate you had with your yogurt, or feeling thankful for one's family's good health.

"Write one paragraph every day on one thing for which we're truly grateful for and why that thing is meaningful to us," Dr. Winch recommends. "This adds positive thoughts and emotions into an emotional climate that is too highly geared toward the negative," he explains. We can also direct our gratitude practice toward the important things in our lives on which we are certain, such as our friendships, passions, or family, reminding ourselves that while certain areas of our lives are uncertain, certainty still reigns in many others.

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