Stressful and challenging times are unavoidable. During the winter months or other periods that test my resilience, I fall back on a number of habits to support myself: eating well for my body, long walks, getting regular acupuncture, finding humor, meditation, and more recently, a gratitude practice.
Research has shown that over time, regular expressions of gratitude can lead to improved mental health and resilience to stress. This is true even if you have a mental health condition.
Start small. Are you grateful for the chair you’re sitting on? The socks on your feet? Your interesting neighbor? The flowers you see on your walk?
Spend time. About 10 minutes. Think of three things you’re grateful for, and spend no less than three minutes writing about why you are grateful for each thing.
Practice. Do this daily and observe the upward spiral! Notice how it gets easier to identify what you’re grateful for and how your writing gets more personal or elaborate.
If you struggle to get started, you’re not alone. Below are 20 prompts to come back to.
What music do you love?
What is something you have today that you did not have one year ago?
What is a pleasant memory?
Write about a friend you’re grateful for.
What gifts have you received that you’re grateful for?
What skills do you have that you’re grateful for?
What makes you feel safe?
What is your favorite simple pleasure?
What are you looking forward to?
What do you like about your job?
Have you been somewhere especially beautiful?
What do you love about your personality?
How are you able to help others?
What did you eat recently that you enjoyed?
What is something about your health or your body that you appreciate?
What is something you’re proud of?
Look outside. What draws your attention in a positive direction?
What do you have that makes your life easier?
What mistake have you made that you’re grateful for?
What art do you appreciate?
Remember that acupuncture or holistic virtual care can be really helpful in managing stress, the effects of trauma, anxiety, and depression. Betsy Gordon Acupuncture in Portland, Oregon is available to help. Scheduled a free consultation online or by calling (971) 341-9546.