person holding grateful sign

Improve Your Mental Health with Gratitude

Did you know practicing gratitude has many benefits to improving your life? It helps a person feel more positive emotions and appreciate what they have instead of what they are missing in their lives. Practicing gratitude will help you notice the little things that can play an impactful role in improving your mental health as well as boosting relationships with others. When you feel grateful it helps you appreciate the things you have instead of what you don’t have. It’s easy to get caught up in wanting more and forget to appreciate what you already have. Making a continuous effort to practice gratitude regularly and to be happy.  

Recognizing positive things and how they affect you is gratitude. Gratitude can be expressed in many ways: before eating a meal, noticing a beautiful building you walk by, or appreciating a friend or family member for doing something nice for you. There are many ways to express gratitude:

– Journaling. Keeping a gratitude journal to write in daily or weekly is a great way to establish a gratitude practice to remember moments in your life and show appreciation for what you had in have in that moment.

– Practicing mindfulness. Take time to pay attention to the present moment and notice and acknowledge the things around you.

– Making a goal to practice gratitude daily. It’s easy to be grateful for big events but expressing gratitude towards the everyday small things in life that are around you and happen is just as important.

– Expressing an act of kindness towards someone else. Showing appreciation towards our loved ones lifts them up as well as ourselves.

One study found that individuals who wrote letters of gratitude reported a significant boost in their mental health after four weeks, and an even more increased boost after twelve weeks. Gratitude also helps you accept change and feel more comfortable with how things are going in your life. Most importantly gratitude helps individuals connect to something larger than themselves as individuals.

I challenge you to start paying attention to the little moments around you daily, and to express gratitude towards them. You may notice your happiness increasing, improved relationships, as well as an overall appreciation for what you already have in your life.

Sources:

https://www.mindful.org/an-introduction-to-mindful-gratitude/
https://mailchi.mp/mindful/otpxw3ujbw?_ga=2.256966339.937267271.1636475371-1591845326.1636475371
https://www.ksbar.org/blogpost/1106646/356686/Quick-Tip-The-Proven-Benefits-of-Expressing-Gratitude

Jill Haupts, Outreach Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Jill Haupts is the Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services from Iowa State University in 2016. Jill joined the Kim Foundation in January of 2020, coming from Des Moines, Iowa. Her previous experience includes volunteer recruitment and fundraising, as well as experience coordinating services and providing resources to adults who have a mental health diagnosis. Jill’s role in the foundation is coordinating event logistics, presenting and attending community fairs, as well as volunteer coordination and recruitment. She enjoys working in the nonprofit field and has a passion for advocacy and helping others.