• How Using Gratitude Can Help to Improve Your Mental Health

    Gratitude is simply the act of identifying what we are thankful for. It is not simply something we do and check off from a list, but rather it is an intentional practice.

    By focusing on acknowledging what is going on well in your life, gratitude can have a tremendous impact on maintaining a positive outlook and improving mental health. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to hyper focus on the negative? This is because the negative seems to be a noticeable blip which is more readily identifiable than when our days seem to be filled with the same repetitive routine of what is considered our “norm.”

    Now how different would life be if we turned our attention towards highlighting what has gone on well in our lives instead? This could be something simple like writing down how grateful we are about having good health or having access to resources such as water or having an AC in your home during a heat wave!

    To begin, start practicing at both the beginning and end of your day by writing down in a journal 3 good things that went well in your life that day. By repeating this process, you will become accustomed to identifying much more readily the positive things in life and shifting your mindset from focusing solely on the negative.

    After a period of continued practice, you may want to reflect on how things may have changed or improved over time since you last listed what you were grateful for. This can help you to see that life is filled up with small moments in the grand scheme of a timeline, and nothing is really fixed. This could help to instill hope that there are yet better days to come! 

    This article was written by Angelica Ramirez- Diaz, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) #122193