When life becomes hectic, our mental health can decline in the ensuing chaos. Stress, difficulty sleeping, poor concentration and strained relationships may begin to impair one’s overall well-being and happiness. Just as we must make mindful, healthy food choices, we must also enact healthy practices regarding our mental health.
A simple method for improving one’s mental state is a daily gratitude exercise. Focusing on the positive and taking time to appreciate things we may often overlook, or take for granted, can boost one’s mood and reap significant health benefits. According to Dr. Erin Amato at the Center for Ideal Health, gratitude exercises have been linked to improved sleep, improved mood, improved relationships and reduced stress.
This holiday season, try incorporating gratitude exercise into your normal health and fitness regimen to embrace the positive and overcome the chaos.
Write down the things for which you are grateful. Each evening, you could list five good things about your day, or three occasions when you smiled. Recording these moments makes us more mindful of them and reminds us that each day is filled with many small moments to cherish.
Write a letter
Take some time to recognize a person you appreciate. Include specific details and occasions. If you wish to make even more of a difference, hand-deliver the letter, and read it aloud to the person.
Take a gratitude walk
Exercise is a proven way to boost one’s mood. Make a special effort to appreciate your surroundings using each of your senses—the smell of a flower, the feel of the sunshine or the song of a bird.