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Step 5) Be Grateful and See the Good in the World around you.
As you see the good around you, the serotonin in your brain and your happiness increases. Research has shown that expressing gratitude every day is proven to make you feel better. As Dr. Higgins has worked with patients suffering from chronic pain, he has found that the patients who look for the good in their lives and record it focus less on their pain and experience more joy as a result.
Visit Calm My Pain Community on Facebook and post something you are grateful for today! Read what others are grateful for. We also have an Instagram page. If social media isn't your thing, buy a simple notebook to record your thoughts. We have partnered with Becky Higgins to help you find a high-quality notebook to record your daily gratitudes.
Physical well-being can often be directly associated with emotional and mental well-being, and practicing daily gratitude may improve many struggling with emotional well-being. Studies have shown that those who practice gratitude may see improvement in physical exercise, dietary behaviors, and abstaining from or limiting substances like alcohol and nicotine.
By evaluating and appreciating daily factors like personal relationships, situations, and circumstances, the mind’s focus shifts to what an individual has rather than what is desired and can significantly improve that person’s mindset.
Practicing gratitude can work to block negative emotions like envy, regret, resentment, and sadness, among other toxic emotions. A good way to get started in practicing gratitude is to keep a daily journal to remember enjoyable things, like gifts, special moments, or positive thoughts.
Strive to practice one of the following exercises daily.
Regular journaling will give you the opportunity to reflect on any positive factors affecting your life. This works to improve your well-being by highlighting the positive thing you should be grateful for through self-reflection. These factors can include just about anything in your life, from friends and family, pets, food, nature, or any recent activity or experience.
Writing a letter, email, or even text message, to someone in your life who you are grateful for, is possibly one of the most straightforward gratitude practices. As you start regularly practicing this, you may notice your regular gratitude improving.
Focus on today, and think of three good things that happened, either directly or indirectly; this can be a journal exercise or just something you reflect on in your head. These can be any events, people, or circumstances. Next, repeat this but consider a larger time scale, like the past week, month, or year.
Meditation is something that can be practiced at just about any time and doesn’t need to be traditional. Find a word or phrase that makes you feel supported and strong; if you aren’t sure what to use, try a few that you can repeat to yourself silently for a couple of days. Repeat this word or phrase silently when confronted with stressful situations, like when exercising, waiting, or any time you feel overwhelmed.
Reflect on a time you felt positive feelings or connections with any personal relationship like family, friends, or workplace peers. Focus on the positive feelings or outcomes from that situation, and connect them to your present moment. Direct these feelings inward to yourself.