Ways to Improve Your Mood Through Gratitude

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Disclaimer: Although I am a mental health professional, all information and reflections are meant for educational purposes only. If you plan to make changes in your life, it may be worth consulting with loved ones and/or your wellness team. Also, this post may contain affiliate links for products and when making a purchase through those links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Anyone want the life hack for improving positive emotions?

Time to learn ways to improve your mood through practicing gratitude.

 Some of you will be skeptical from how confident I am about the following technique, but even if it isn’t the right method for you, no time has been “wasted!” 

Also, this post has not been sponsored by anyone, so you know I authentically love it.

At the end of the post, a shortened version of the post will help you organize the suggestions.

Intro

Do: Every Evening, Reflect on at Least 3 Things You Are Thankful or Grateful For That Happened During the Day.

This exercise is one I do EVERY EVENING and truly look forward to. I practice what I preach!

The first thing recommended in the practice of Positive Psychology is the use of a Gratitude Journal where you write down three good things prior to sleep that happened during the day (Rashid & Seligman, 2019).

Positive psychology is a scientifically based method of therapy and each recommended exercise has proven results for improving wellness, and this particular exercise is to cultivate positive emotions.

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Benefits of Gratitude

This is not an easy task for many in the beginning, especially if you have been feeling anxious, depressed or both for a long time. 

Heck, I even struggled, and I am a pretty positive minded person. 

I am 99% convinced that if done consistently, it will become easier or at least quicker to find the good or at least decent aspects of your day. On particularly difficult days, and we all have them at varying degrees, it may take an huge amount of strength and thought to find something to be grateful for. That said…

Notable Benefits Include:

  • Practice in finding positive aspects in your day rather than focusing only on the negative.
  • Positive thoughts prior to sleeping can improve sleep and decrease distressing dreams.
  • Helps cope you with negative experiences.
  • Increase appreciation for others, especially when recognizing acts of kindness.
  • A short break from ruminating (anxiety driven negative thinking loop).

 

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Ways to Remember Gratitude

If you are anything like me, you’ll understand that having an ever-changing schedule makes it hard to stay regular with any activity.

I’ve found the life hack for that too after many failed attempts at gratitude journals!

Please read the list below for ways to boost your mood through gratitude!

Journal Before Sleep

Keep it at your bedside with a pen ready and waiting or if you take a sleeping aide every night, put it in your medication cupboard.

Phone Note

Almost all newer cellphone models have a notes section.

If you are someone who is surfing social media before bed, take a few minutes and head to your notes.

Voicing & Thinking

YOU DO NOT NEED TO RECORD YOUR GRATITUDE LIST.

I had the assumption that to solidify the benefits, my thoughts needed to be written and have proven this wrong. 

If I am with my partner, we verbally share our gratitude, or if I am alone, I just say them out loud to myself! Most posts will recommend you write them down, but if that isn’t an option, this is something to try.

The Life Hack: Because I tend to forget things and my bedtime changes regularly, I have a vibration alarm go off at 9:00pm every day. If I am in public when this happens, I take a quiet moment to scan my brain for some positive things!

Share Them With Others

I know some amazing individuals that share their gratitude thoughts on social media daily (or close to).

If you want an accountability friend, text them to each other!

You can also do this if it just feels good to share your small or large joys via whatever platform you choose.

Imagine how you could brighten someone’s day if you shared that they made your list because of something they contributed?

As I mentioned before, my partner and I share ours together when we can and it definitely has brought us closer.

Insights

Like I said before, I am confident in this technique and it does not take up a lot of your time.

All of my excuses went out the window when I found my way to keep on track with it.

Plus, the scientific evidence makes it hard for me to ignore!

Nothing is perfect, but adding this tiny tool to your wellness plan will not cause you any harm.

Get those positive emotions brewing!

Activity

Here are some of the ways to improve your mood through gratitude!

– Set Alarm as a Reminder- I use my Fitbit vibration alarm, but you can use whatever works best for you. Examples: phone, watch, alarm clock, or maybe you just remember without issue!

– Have a Gratitude List to Refer to On Harder Days – Struggling after something happened during the day that rocked your mental health in a horrible way? Create your own list of possible options to refer to on a more stable or happier day.

– Find a Journal or any Paper If You Plan to Record Your Thoughts

– Check Out My List Below – If you are having difficulties thinking of some examples, look below to help you at the start.

Examples List: I am grateful for…

my pet(s)         my healthcare team     the nice text message from (blank)    the sunshine   

a refreshing walk        finding a new self-care activity          time to relax    praise from others

music  breathing techniques   good conversation      making my bed           my family

the homework/project I worked on or finished          a good counselling session     meditation

your favorite team winning    a relatable quote         good health     the sound of rain

feeling less depressed or anxious       finding a new TV show          a good sleep    exercise          

how you coped in a healthy way        crisis lines       a task completed (big or small)         

a stranger smiled         random compliment    supportive relationships          blog posts

References

Rashid, T. & Seligman, M. (2019) Positive psychotherapy. In D. Wedding & R.J. Corsini (Eds.), Current psychotherapies (11th ed.) pp. 481-526. Boston, MA: Cengage.

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