I missed posting last week because I was at the 4-Day TEAM CBT Intensive in Whistler with Dr. David Burns. It was an amazing event, learn more about dealing with anxiety, depression, procrastination, and more at www.FeelingGood.com. Anyway, I said we'd look at the benefits of gratitude so that's what this week is about.
There are all kinds of blogs, articles, and studies on gratitude. An article in Forbes lists 7 Scientifically Proven benefits including: Building social relationships, improving physical health, mental wellness, enhances empathy and reduces aggression, helps with better sleep, improves self-esteem, and lastly improves mental strength. https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/11/23/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-gratitude-that-will-motivate-you-to-give-thanks-year-round/#50d3eb92183c
Perhaps that last one is the most important benefit of gratitude, it improves mental strength, or one could say is a powerful coping skill. Don't get me wrong, we all want better relationships with those we love and who doesn't want to have great physical health. But, with our body systems so interconnected having the ability to cope with things life throws at us is one of the keys to not only happiness but also our health.
Counting my blessings has helped me cope with many stressors in my life from moderate irritations to full blown anxiety attacks. While listing 10 things I'm grateful for didn't cure my intense anxiety, it did help me to calm down long enough to use the appropriate cognitive techniques (several listed in Dr. Burn's podcasts on itunes if you are interested). When I have had IBS attacks, reciting things I am grateful for makes the time pass so much faster and it lessens the pain significantly.
What are some ways you use gratitude to cope? I'd love to hear from you.
One last thing I wanted to share, is something I am truly grateful for and that is.... drum roll.... people who are willing to agree to disagree. Over the years, I've met some pretty mean people on the internet. I'm sure in 'real life' they aren't as bad as online, but there is an awful lot of criticism out there. Whether you are trying to go plant based, just eat a few more veggies, or go all the way vegan it can be disheartening to have your mistakes plastered by others. One blogger who is as kind hearted as she is determined to help save the planet and the critters on it is Tully Zander. She has some wonderful recipes that you will find absolutely delicious along with blog articles. Check them out on her website: www.vegansfirst.com