With so much change and uncertainty in the world at the moment, it is easy to fall into a pessimistic mindset, focussing on what we are missing and don’t have (like the ability to socalise with friends or play sport). Our brains are wired to look for the threats and dangers in any given situation, making it easy to catastrophise and imagine worst case scenarios. With being in isolation at the moment, we all have a lot more time to think, and this can exacerbate this phenomenon.
So something that can help to break the downward spiral of your thoughts is gratitude. Flipping the narrative and thinking about what you do have, what you are grateful for, and what opportunities you have been able to have, that you would not if the world had continued as ‘normal’.
Being grateful is something that is usually easier said than done. Our thoughts will naturally turn to the negative, so when you are starting out, it can be tricky to find what you are grateful for. Like anything, it takes practice, and no-one is a natural the first time around!
There are so many strategies that you can implement to help you show gratitude. Keep it simple and find what works for you. This may be a hard task, so if you are finding it difficult, start small and make it easier on yourself.
Gratitude is more than just being optimistic or looking on the bright side. It is looking at what you have worked hard for, what you have achieved, how much you have in your life. Even if at first you think there is nothing, when you start to look a little deeper there is usually much more than you expect. It is easy to get caught up in the negatives, what you don’t have and what you can’t do, that it can be tricky to appreciate what you can do. Be thankful for what is in your life right now, even if it is a bit challenging, and look forward to everything coming your way in the future. Try it out, if nothing else your brain will thank you for it!
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