Finding gratitude can be easy and improves mental health as an added bonus. Remembering to practice it can be hard. The good news is that we don’t have to look far. If we pay attention, we can find things to be grateful for wherever we are and reap the mental health benefits in midlife.
We hear about being grateful (especially this time of year), but many people shrug it off. We don’t get around to making it a regular habit that will undoubtedly improve our mental well being with far-reaching results. It’s a practice I embrace at the beginning of my day and it’s truly helped me see how to be grateful even for the small things. I help my clients begin this habit to focus on the positives in their life.
Instead of practicing gratitude, we may find ourselves focusing on the frustrating things we encounter. Rude drivers, annoying coworkers, people at the grocery store who slow us down. The list goes on and on. But let’s try putting on the proverbial rose-colored glasses and see the good. Maybe the bus arrives on time or your dog doesn’t ask to go out in the pouring rain. String together the good moments. You will be amazed at how quickly you see more good as you go through your day.
Let’s create the improvement in our mental health we all seek.
Health Benefits of a Gratitude Practice
If we are being honest, it’s certainly more motivating to adopt a practice if we know it will benefit us in some way. There are many physical and mental benefits of taking the time to be grateful. Even when we are having days that we don’t feel our best, there is usually something we can be grateful for. Let’s look at the health benefits of a regular gratitude practice.
- Reduces depression and anxiety with the release of feel-good hormones
- Helps you feel less lonely and isolated
- Improves your relationships as you express your gratitude to others
How to Implement a Gratitude Practice
Implementing new habits takes some time, but creating a gratitude practice is easy to put into place. The biggest obstacle is remembering to actually do it. Set an alarm if necessary as a gentle reminder to implement this daily habit. Try different methods to see what works for you. Like any habit, it will be easier to incorporate if you attach it to an activity you do already. Check out more tips on habit change and where it all begins — with awareness, in my blog ‘habit change starts with awareness’.
- Jot down what you are grateful for each day first thing or at the end of the day by keeping a journal at your bedside. It’s beneficial to taste life twice — in the moment and retrospectively as you write it down.
- Keep a sticky note as a reminder at your computer or on your bathroom mirror to think of things you are grateful for.
- Take a moment to acknowledge the hard times in your past and how grateful you are for your present life.
- Write down some special moments after they occur on your phone ‘Notes’ section. See how quickly the list grows.
I am grateful for you, my readers for taking the time to read my posts. I am excited that I get to continue to spread the message of how to be more balanced in midlife, both mentally and physically.
Now get out there and find the things to be grateful for. And don’t forget to express your thanks and gratitude to others. Don’t keep it to yourself. It helps not only your mental well being but passes the positive energy on to others. Reach out if you want to learn more about how I can support you!
I’m a registered nurse for over 24 years with a Masters Degree in Nursing (Education). I am also a Certified Women’s Health Coach specializing in helping women navigate changing hormones in their 30s and beyond after my own difficult experience through menopause. I believe women should truly thrive in midlife and not just survive!