Growth and Development, Health, Mental Health, Self Development, Self Improvement

The importance of gratitude

Our brains have a nasty habit of turning something that went wrong in the day, a simple problem, into a big deal and it has a flow on effect. By practising gratitude, an important aspect of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) one can help manage their stress, anxiety and in my case depression. CBT is a type of psychotherapy which has become a crucial part of psychology. In short it is positive psychology.

Whenever I speak to my Doctor or Therapist when I am in a funk with my depression they always remind me to keep up with listing what I am grateful for, on a daily basis. Regardless of how I am they ask this question straight up. You only need to list 3 things that made your day pretty great and can be as simple as you having a great cup of coffee or running into someone you know in the street and having a quick chat with them. By focusing on what went right it shifts the narrative and helps you overcome the negative thoughts. Our lizard brains (my therapist’s words) have not evolved from the days of the stone age and we go into a flight or fight mode. Mostly we go into flight mode as we do not want to deal with an issue in front of us and it is the easier route. Flight mode would have been great when you are being charged by a woolly mammoth. Thankfully that is not a problem in the day and age but problems persist in their own way.

One does not have to invest in an expensive planner to practise gratitude. Just grab any notebook or on your phone or tablet, record the date and list 3 things that you are grateful for on that day. It is recommended you do this at end of work day or before bedtime as a way to reflect on the day and put you in a positive mood. I for one love a good list. As well as writing out my daily gratitude it sparks my mind on what needs to be done the following day to make it a successful one.

Just this afternoon I got bummed out, over nothing in particular, and wrote 3 things I am grateful for today:

  • I had a great lunch at a café I visit regularly and had a good catch up with the owner.
  • I had a facial and am feeling fresh
  • I got todays work finished early and as a result could give myself an early mark so I didn’t have to rush back after lunch.

One other issue I am facing is burnout. I thought that burnout was just another term to describe us being tired but as it turns out, it is recognised by World Health Organisation. Again it comes down to our lizard brains brains choosing flight not fight when hit with issues. In the short term it is ok but in the long run the underlining issues need to be addressed, but that is a blog for another time.

Take care and stay safe, Loz.

3 thoughts on “The importance of gratitude”

  1. This is so helpful Lauren. I’m going to think of those three things and write them down. As you wrote, it’s such a great way to help shift into a positive mindset by seeing your day from another perspective.
    I feel like it’s even more important to do it right now as well. Thank you for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Lauren for the reminder, sometimes it is to easy to get stuck on the one crap thing which so often is such a small silly part of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

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