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The Benefits of Gratitude for Stress Relief
We all face stress on a daily basis and worry about the future. Especially during times like these, stress and anxiety can become overwhelming and can feel like they are taking over our lives. Doing stress relieving exercises such as exercising and deep breathing can provide great benefits but changing your perspective on life is a great way to ease long-term stress and anxiety. Focusing on filling your mind with thoughts full of gratitude will change your outlook on stressful situations and will provide you with better coping mechanisms.
Stress is the way that we choose to react to change and situations that are unfamiliar and scary. When we know that we may have a stressful event coming up, we find ourselves filled with worry and anxiety since the outcome is uncertain. We worry about the worst possible scenarios rather than being grateful for potential opportunities that could arise as a result of stress.
Stress involves stepping out of your comfort zone, which is unfamiliar and unpredictable territory. The negative emotions that arise from stress are replaceable when you decide to fill your mind with gratitude. Gratitude allows you to gain the power and qualities you need to cope with and let go of stress by appreciating your situation and looking at the good that can come from it.
By committing to gratitude and appreciating what you have, you will significantly improve your satisfaction with life and reduce your stress, anxiety, and depression. According to an article published by Positive Psychology, participants in a stress analysis test showed that people who practiced gratitude journaling and felt more thankful were happier and emotionally stronger than others.
In addition to becoming emotionally stronger, an increase in gratitude means an increase in resilience. The same study discussed previously found that patients who practiced gratitude were more motivated and able to bounce back from adversity with a more positive outlook. Resilience is necessary when building up an emotional toughness in order to prevent stress from controlling your life.
How to Replace Stress with Gratitude
There are a few strategies that you can practice in order to experience more gratitude and appreciation for your surroundings. When you notice yourself feeling worried or overwhelmed about an upcoming situation, recognize that stress is arising. You can then replace the stressful thoughts by writing down five different positives that could come out of the situation. Whether it be meeting new people, personal growth, or new opportunities, being stressed and overwhelmed means some sort of change that provides positive results.
You can practice the replacement of stressful thoughts with nearly any situation in your life. When something is upsetting you, it can be very helpful to take a step back and realize the positives that you would likely overlook because of stress getting in the way. Another important way to ease the stress through gratitude is to reduce comparisons.
When you compare your life to others at work, in your community, or even on different media platforms, your mind becomes filled with unnecessary stress. You may find that you are being overly self-critical rather than appreciating what you have. When you look at what others have that you do not, you are no longer practicing the gratitude that turns what you have into enough.
Taking a step back from stressful and overwhelming situations is a great way to incorporate gratitude and change your outlook on your life. By analyzing what is causing you stress and what you are worried about in the future, you can look at the positives and be thankful for the way the situation will allow you to grow.
Have you used some of the tips above, if so, let us know in the comments sections below!