When everything seems to be falling apart – health, finances, family – whatever it might be. How do we have an ‘‘attitude of gratitude’’ in the midst of the maelstrom that has gripped our life? Is it possible to be grateful under such dire (or what feels like dire) circumstances? Yes! We’re sharing our pro tips for cultivating gratitude.
It is precisely under crisis conditions when we have the most to gain from a grateful perspective on life. When we are sick, an ‘‘attitude of gratitude’’ has the power to heal. When we are demoralized, an ‘‘attitude of gratitude’’ has the power to invigorate and encourage. When we are in despair, an ‘‘attitude of gratitude’’ has the power to bring hope. To put it in other words, changing perspective and taking our ‘glass half empty’ to a ‘glass half full’ will help us cope.
We are in no way suggesting that changing our mindset is at all easy…particularly for those of us that are suffering greatly. It’s easy to have an ‘‘attitude of gratitude’’ for the good things in life, but much more difficult to have an ‘‘attitude of gratitude’’ when something devastating hits.
We have to make the distinction between ‘feeling’ grateful and ‘being’ grateful. Feelings come from our viewpoint; how we see the world. No one ‘feels’ grateful when their health takes a turn for the worse, when they’ve lost their job, or when tragedy strikes. Being grateful is definitely a choice; an attitude that endures and is relatively unwavering through the ups and downs of life. Rather than being overwhelmed by temporary circumstances, we need to have hope and a perspective that views life in its entirety.
Research has demonstrated that having an ‘‘attitude of gratitude’’ greatly impacts health, in some cases having a more significant impact on health than other medical interventions. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains, exercise more, and require fewer medical evaluations. Having an ‘‘attitude of gratitude’’ improves psychological health by effectively increasing happiness and reducing depression as well as experiencing increased self-esteem.
Studies also reveal that those with grateful attitudes demonstrate more sensitivity and empathy towards others. Gratefulness leads to optimism, a characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system.
How do we manage to have an “attitude of gratitude” in the face of challenging life circumstances rather than sink into despair? We know from experience, this isn’t easy to do sometimes.
Here are some ways we practice and encourage our patients to cultivate an ‘‘attitude of gratitude’’:
We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate an ‘‘attitude of gratitude’’. Take a few moments today to focus on all you have been given and BE THANKFUL!
If you’re still stuck, our amazing Health Coaches may help you tap into that internal source of gratitude you’re looking to nurture.
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The Center for Fully Functional Health® is led by a team of award-winning, internationally recognized physicians, committed to providing personalized, life-changing care.