Manage Stress with Gratitude
Shared by Dr. Justin Thompson
A little gratitude goes a long way!
Throughout life, we all experience stressful time periods. These periods can last days, weeks, months or even years for some. Everyone’s strategy to get through these moments varies immensely. There is no quick fix, or one size fits all answer. This can be frustrating, but it is the reality of the situation. There is, however, some small changes one can implement that will make a lasting impact. Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Practicing gratitude may seem like a silly gimmick that you heard from your parents growing up, but the health benefits are plentiful and powerful. Through affirming and appreciating the goodness that already exists within you and the world, you open your life to endless possibilities. Before diving into the research, I want to share my experience with this practice. Like many, I was skeptical at first. Despite this, I developed a routine of journaling daily where I would write out 5 things, I was grateful for. I would also say “thank-you” to myself every morning upon waking up and starting my day. This felt very strange at first and I often would laugh at myself. I stuck to it though, and within a few weeks I could feel the changes. In the mornings I was not longer as stressed, crabby, or worried about what was to come that day. At night, after journaling I began to feel a sense of pride for what I experienced that day. This opened my eyes to see more of the good in my life when I would previously dwell on the negatives.
There is a lot of research on gratitude and its benefits. Most of the research though, is on already well-functioning people. A recent study shows that practicing gratitude can greatly influence those seeking mental health psychotherapy. 293 adults from a randomized control trial that were seeking mental health services were assigned differing therapy approaches. After 12 weeks, the participants in the gratitude condition group reported significantly better mental health than the control groups. Additionally, the study found that practicing gratitude; unshackles us from negative emotions and has lasting effects on the brain!
I highly recommend trying a few of these techniques yourself. With consistency, these small steps will take you far!
I am grateful for ALL of YOU!
- Joel Wong, Jesse Owen, Nicole T. Gabana, Joshua W. Brown, Sydney McInnis, Paul Toth & Lynn Gilman (2018) Does gratitude writing improve the mental health of psychotherapy clients? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial, Psychotherapy Research, 28:2, 192-202, DOI: 10.1080/10503307.2016.1169332
When you are looking for a Chiropractor near you that you can trust, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain. Our Chiropractors located in St. Louis Park, near the corner of MN-100 S & Lake Rd./Westside Dr., will teach you what the research says about how and why we should eat a better diet, move more and have more positive thoughts. By improving these areas of our lives we can become healthier, stay out of pain and reduce risk of diabetes and other diseases!