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Practicing Gratitude As A Means To Improve Emotional Health

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Benjiro, Apr 16, 2022.

  1. Benjiro

    Benjiro Peer Supporter

    Hello all. Curious if anyone here has incorporated gratitude in their emotional health regimen. A lot of the journaling (SEP, etc.) that helped me heal years ago tended to focus directly on trauma, unresolved issues, and strong emotions, like anger, and fear. That’s super important and repression of these things is a big issue for a lot of people.

    On the flip side, I wonder what role gratitude can play in healing. Dr. Sarno mentioned a rage-sooth ratio. I suppose gratitude is a kind of soothing. And it increases our feelings of connection with others. I naturally experienced gratitude as I began to heal, but I don’t recall being intentional about it.

    That said, anyone here have a gratitude practice, journaling or otherwise, to speak of?
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2022
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have recently fallen out of the habit of nightly journaling - taking a break, I guess, after finally quitting a volunteer job that was grinding me down (and creating at TON of emotional stress). When I do write, I make it a practice to always incorporate at least one thing from the day for which I am grateful, and I literally feel a little lighter when I do this. I have rarely struggled with this, because even remembering something cute the cat did, or something I enjoyed eating, or even a nice sun break in Seattle, qualify as things to be grateful for.
    hawaii_five0 and Benjiro like this.
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Whenever I find myself becoming depressed or caught in negative thinking loops, I start a Gratitude Journal and feel better within a few days. The practice helps train our brains to look for positive things instead of what feels wrong. It is a very simple and powerful practice. There are many phone apps for it, and it only takes a few minutes a day. I also try throughout the day to find things that spark joy, like seeing a cardinal at my bird feeder, and try to savor that experience for a few moments. Gratitude is a very healing practice.
    hawaii_five0, Benjiro, Sita and 2 others like this.
  4. hawaii_five0

    hawaii_five0 Well known member

    I agree with what Ellen and JanA said, just noting little things that are good can make you feel better. I guess that is obvious, but writing it down has helped me, somehow it etches it a bit better in my brain. So at the end of the day, I write down any good things that happened, whether it be something good that happened to me, or some way that I could help someone else. I don't spend more than 5-10 minutes on this. So it will be things like I smiled at somebody and they smiled back, or how good a chocolate treat tasted, or it was really cold and rainy and how good the heat in the car felt, or telling somebody you like their haircut and it seemed to make them happy, or the roof leaked but a guy came and fixed it really cheaply and now it doesn't leak. Or whatever. I think I actually sleep better, reflecting on these nice little things before going to bed. It's a very simple but positive practice.
    Ellen, JanAtheCPA and Benjiro like this.

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