Mental Health Week Tip 5 – Gratitude

A recent study of over 190 countries by Gallup gave insight into a happy life. They found that the Latin American countries like Costa Rica have a happier life index. I visited Costa Rica in January and experienced their Pura Vida philosophy. The reason they are happy is because of their positive outlook on life. They have gratitude for what they have. I was just happy because I was away from the – 40C that Ottawa was experiencing. For that, I was grateful. As a positive re-enforcement principle, review daily for what you are grateful.

Did you know?

Being grateful for all the good things in your life helps channel your energy in a positive way. Research shows that focussing on things we are grateful for lifts our spirits dramatically

How to show gratitude?

Keep a gratitude journal, where you record daily what’s going well in your life and why. Start by saying, “I’m grateful for…” and make a list. Record the progress you are making, however small, toward goals (see Section 18). Find the positive aspects of challenging situations. Identify people who are making your life richer. Focus on the multitude of pleasurable things and kind gestures that you would miss if they weren’t there. Acknowledge when you touch other people’s lives in a positive way.

It’s especially rewarding to tell people how they have touched your life in a positive way. Be generous with compliments. For example, write a letter to someone for whom you are grateful. Or just tell them on a daily basis.

Celebrate successes and milestones:

Counting your blessings improves health and well-being. Being grateful will help you cope better with life’s transitions. You will feel better about your life and relationships and you will unconsciously create more opportunities to be grateful for.

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