Incognito Mental Health Resources

Practicing Gratitude

I feel many people feel practicing daily gratitude is overrated. Often, you see on those social media accounts where people are very positive and claim to give you a guide to happiness, they say to practice daily gratitude.

Now I know happiness is not as easy as a flick of a switch, but practicing gratitude is very helpful to try to focus on positive aspects of life rather than negative aspects of it. So often we focus on what is bad and what is wrong. People even try to compete for who has the “toughest day” or the “toughest life”. But now we focus on the negative rather than the positive.

Practicing gratitude helps you look to the positive things in your life. Whatever it may be, whether it is having certain objects, being connected with certain people, or someone giving you a compliment that day, just once a day, try to find at least one (many people try to do five things) thing that was good.

Keep the Practice Positive

It is okay if you had a really rough day and you can’t practice gratitude.Days like that happen. Or if it just feels like you can’t think of anything positive. Try to think your hardest but be patient with yourself if you can’t. Avoid using the inability to find anything positive as a reason to beat yourself up. We all have days where we just can’t be positive and recognize that. It can be turned into something negative if you don’t accept the bad times as well.

Also don’t use gratitude to minimize what you may be going through. Often people may say, “Yeah I am going through this thing but I should be grateful that I have [blank]”. Yes you can be grateful to have whatever you may have, but you are also allowed to experience emotion through what you are going through. If you don’t let yourself experience those feelings, those can become bottled up and cause more pain instead and will likely reduce the effectiveness of practicing gratitude.

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Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional. If you are in extreme crisis please call your local emergency services or your local suicide hotline. This site is a collection of research and resources to help you.