Practising gratitude may have a profound effect on the quality of our relationships, our disposition, perspective, behavioural health as well as physical health. The frequent expression of gratitude has a positive effect not only on our own emotional and physical well-being but also on the well-being of people around us. The state of being thankful and expressing appreciation for what one already has is referred to as gratitude. We have made an effort to break down the mental health benefits of cultivating an attitude of gratitude in our everyday lives. But before we go into anything, let’s talk about World Gratitude Day and its importance.
Significance of World Gratitude Day
World Gratitude Day is observed on September 21 of each year and as the name suggests, it is a day of thankfulness. The ability of thankfulness to mend wounds, infuse people with renewed energy, inculcate good habits, and bring positive changes in one’s life is recognised on World Gratitude Day.
During a Thanksgiving dinner held at the United Nations headquarters in 1965, spiritual guru Sri Chinmoy, came up with the concept for World Gratitude Day. That was the moment when he and other people who were there at the meal committed to celebrating September 21 as the day of appreciation, every year. In 1977, a special event was held in honour of Sri Chinmoy and during that occasion, a resolution was taken and it was voted to formally mark World Gratitude Day.
5 Ways Gratitude can Contribute to Mental Health Care
Your mental health is benefitted from cultivating an attitude of thankfulness and appreciation. Embracing a mindset of gratitude is likely to be more beneficial to you than you give it credit for. Let’s now understand why you should make an effort to be thankful:
1. Prompting Introspection
Taking the time to engage in the act of practising gratitude will urge you to think back on your days. It is easy to lose sight of the significance of certain aspects of your day-to-day life and existence that may appear unremarkable at first glance. Hence, it allows you to reflect on the myriad of blessings that fill every day and be thankful for all that you have.
Having access to amazing things like food, clothing, a safe place to live, and reliable transportation is a blessing. Being in excellent health and having a body that can do what you want to — are two wonderful gifts. Always look for reasons to be grateful; one of those reasons should be your connections with family and friends. When you take the time to think back on the last day or week, you will come up with hundreds of reasons to be grateful. This wonderful practice will provide a feeling of contentment and help those looking to boost their behavioural health.
2. Lifting Your Spirits
Even if you only focus on the little aspects of your surroundings, practising thankfulness might help improve your mood. Various studies that were carried out over the years demonstrated a connection between an attitude of gratitude and happiness. Even though being grateful is not a treatment for major mental diseases such as anxiety or depression, it may improve one’s mood significantly in several instances.
When your heart is full of appreciation, it is far more difficult to concentrate on obnoxious or destructive feelings. Thankfulness turns your attention towards good people and experiences in your life. Although practising gratitude is not a fast cure or an instant answer to a serious mental disease, doing it regularly over time can benefit one’s state of mind.
3. Physical Health Benefits
When one thinks about mental health, one should be aware that sound mental health promotes physical health as well. People who are spending each and every moment of their lives with a sense of gratefulness are more likely to participate in healthy activities, even though it is possible that the appreciation itself is not directly responsible. People who regularly express gratitude have a greater propensity to take care of their bodies by maintaining a healthy diet and working out on a regular basis.
Because of these acts, you will experience increased levels of energy, a strengthened immune system, a calm mind, and better sleep. When you make decisions that are favourable for your physical health, they also have a positive impact on your mental health. Your mental state can benefit greatly from maintaining a healthy body through proper nutrition, physical activity, and restful sleep.
4. Boosting Optimism
It is essential to take stock of the good things happening in your own life as well as in the world. In spite of the daunting circumstances in which you may find yourself, beautiful and great things can still occur if you have an optimistic lookout.
Your mental health is positively and healthily impacted by practising gratitude. In present times, it is very necessary to find reasons to feel positive about mental health care. When it seems like so much is happening in the world and everything is falling apart, it may be hard to look at the sunny side of things. In times like these, it can be helpful to look for the bright spots in order to help yourself feel more optimistic.
5. Strengthening Relationships
Showing appreciation to everyone around you, from loved ones to strangers, strengthens relationships. It is possible that forming relationships with other people is more vital now than at any time in history. During a time when it is common to have feelings of isolation, apartness and loneliness, one way to connect with people is to express gratitude. A majority of people are longing for connection with other people right now.
It does not take much effort to find out how someone is doing or express gratitude for any assistance they’ve provided by taking a few seconds out of your day. It does not cost anything to express thanks. It involves nothing more than modification of your frame of mind. Moreover, needless to say, developing relationships with other people is beneficial to one’s mental health.
It is not difficult to find a reason to be thankful when one considers all the benefits listed above. You don’t have to choose between acknowledging the challenging times and embracing hope. You can do both. Being grateful positively affects your mental health, influencing not just your mood but also your interactions with other people and your general perspective of the world. This World Gratitude Day 2022, take a determination to choose gratitude as you go forward in life!