A to Z Challenge 2016

‘G’ is for Gratitude – How being Grateful is good for our Mental Health

April 8, 2016
'G' is for Gratitude

wake each morning and be thankful

We hear a lot about being grateful these days.  There are even blog challenges to write about what we are grateful for each day, or month or year.  But has this term become overused?  I hope not!

In my post ‘Start each day with a grateful heart’, I list 10 things I’m grateful for.  I also started the post by saying that sometimes life gets in the way and we forget to reflect on how fortunate we are.

When we do take a moment to reflect on the good things in our lives, most of our problems seem insignificant.

We all go through phases where we feel life is not how we want it to be – that is just being human.

I read an article In Praise of Gratitude in Harvard Health Publications from Harvard Medical School.  Research suggests that

 “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

So how does being grateful help our mental health?

Here are 3 ways Being Grateful helps our Mental Health

  • Reflecting on all we are grateful for takes the spotlight off us and our problems! When we feel grateful we are looking at all the positives in our lives and we feel a warm glow building inside of us.
  • By showing others we are grateful for what they have done for us, improves our relationships and makes the person feel valued.
  • Being grateful makes us focus on what we have – not what we don’t have.

I am grateful for many things in my life.  There are the common things that most people would be grateful for such as a loving partner, family and friends, food and a warm place to sleep.  However, sometimes we need to look beyond that and appreciate that we ARE ALIVE!  Last year, I lost two people to cancer – my brother and a very dear friend.  It is during these times that we tend to ‘take stock’ and realise that LIFE IS TOO SHORT!  There are no second changes and likewise there are no guarantees in life.  However, being grateful for just being alive should be at the top of our list.

We waste so much time in our lives wanting more – a better job, more  money, a nicer house, a faster car and annual holidays – that life can pass us by and suddenly we are no more.  Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with trying to achieve the best you can in life BUT we shouldn’t stop LIVING and ENJOYING OUR LIVES.

Try this exercise

Think of 3 things you are grateful for?  Write them down and look at them when life is not being kind.

Wake each morning & be thankful for the good things in your lifeClick To Tweet

#atozchallenge

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33 Comments

  • Reply Deepti Agrawal April 8, 2016 at 15:05

    Loved your positive thoughts..
    yes we need to be grateful for all that we have.. n not complain for that we do not have.. everything happens for a reason..

    http://serendipityofdreams.blogspot.in/2016/04/gun-shot.html

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2016 at 08:13

      Thank you Deepti! I try to be positive and grateful for all that I have I am truly blessed. Of course, we all have our down days but as long as we get back on track that is the main thing. Have a lovely day 🙂

  • Reply Leanne@crestingthehill April 8, 2016 at 20:08

    We have so much to be grateful for Sue and appreciation for what we have is such a key to happiness (which we’re both doing for “H” tomorrow! Looking forward to reading your next post too x Leanne @ cresting the hill

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2016 at 08:23

      HI Leanne, yes I am learning to really take time out to be grateful for all I have. This morning I sat on my balcony and just watched the sunrise it was beautiful. Have a lovely weekend x

  • Reply Mary Lou April 8, 2016 at 20:18

    We’re on a roll with our positive AtoZ’s Sue! I love your post and entirely agree! Gratitude and Happiness are my posts too! 🙂
    http://meinthemiddlewrites.com/2016/04/08/me-in-the-middle-of-atozchallenge-letter-g/

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2016 at 08:28

      We certainly are Mary Lou! It is much better than being negative and a grumpy old woman! I loved your Faith post and will look out for G & H!

  • Reply Kala Ravi April 8, 2016 at 20:33

    So true Sue…counting our blessings and being grateful for all we have is the right path to happiness. Your posts are so positive Sue, thanks!
    @KalaRavi16 from
    Relax-N-Rave

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2016 at 08:29

      Thank you for your kinds words Kala, I’m so pleased you are enjoying my posts. Have a great day!

  • Reply Sage April 8, 2016 at 23:07

    You have such good positive suggestions here and, with you, I believe gratitude is a necessity for a good life.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2016 at 08:30

      Thank you Sage! We do need to take a step back and be grateful. I know I have so many blessings in my life and as I get older I really take the time to appreciate all that I have. Have a beautiful day. x

  • Reply betty April 9, 2016 at 00:31

    I follow a blog where the writer started about 3 years ago listing three things daily on her blog she was grateful for. She has continued the practice daily since then and reminds us often to live a life of gratitude. I think it is important to do so to help us to make sure we are content with what we have. You are right; life is so short; we need to live it fully and with gratitude!

    betty

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2016 at 08:31

      Hi Betty! Wow what a challenge to be grateful each day in the written word. It certainly would be an incentive to really examine all that you are grateful for. Have a lovely weekend and thank you for stopping by to comment. x

  • Reply Jeffrey Scott April 9, 2016 at 11:31

    I am grateful for wonderful friends and family. Wonderful blogging buddies who help encourage and support me and I am grateful you wrote such a wonderful entry today.
    Have a great tomorrow.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2016 at 19:48

      Oh how lovely of you to be grateful about my post Jeffrey! I’m sure you are a wonderful friend and I agree blogging buddies are something to be grateful for. I’ve shared laughter and tears with mine over the last year since I started blogging. Have a lovely weekend and thanks for stopping by. I’m enjoying your posts for A-Z

  • Reply Michele April 9, 2016 at 12:18

    Perfect timing! I need to stop and realize how much I have to be grateful for. Life gets so busy and things go crazy and we put those realizations on a back burner. I’m so glad I read your Gratitude post. That’s a great idea: start each day listing a few things for which we are grateful. I do believe what you presented about health and gratitude and the connection between them.

    Thanks for this post!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 9, 2016 at 19:52

      I’m so pleased Michele! It is hard because life IS BUSY and we can get so caught up. I think starting the day feeling grateful makes you have a more positive attitude to face the day. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you visit again. I’m loving your theme for A-Z by the way.

  • Reply Doreen McGettigan April 10, 2016 at 06:29

    I have so much to be grateful for this year and #1 is my stepson’ cancer is in remission. One year ago today we were told he had 6 months.
    This year was supposed to be one of the worst of our lives and it’s turned out to be the best.
    We are all about showing our gratitude this year.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 10, 2016 at 14:40

      Oh that is such good news Doreen! You must all be thrilled. You just never really know what will happen do you. You just have to keep faith that something good will always come from bad. Have a lovely week and an extra hug for you and your stepson.

  • Reply Kathleen April 11, 2016 at 12:17

    It is an amazing mood changer to stop and think of things that we are grateful for. A very good message and reminder that you are sending us Sue.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 11, 2016 at 17:50

      Hi Kathleen it certainly does make you feel better when you actually take the time to give thanks for what we have.

  • Reply Debbie Rodrigues April 11, 2016 at 21:57

    On my journal, I make sure I always write something I’m thankful for on that day.
    It’s a great reminder of my daily blessings.
    Great post, Sue!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 12, 2016 at 11:20

      Yes it is a great daily reminder Deb! A journal is a great idea because you can write your thoughts and then re-read them later.

  • Reply Julie S. April 12, 2016 at 02:01

    I love this 🙂 Gratitude is great for our mental health, and the health of everyone around us. Such a wonderful “G” pick 🙂
    I’d love for you to link this up to my #GratitudeGoals linky

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 12, 2016 at 11:24

      Oh thank you Julie! I will have to check out your link up. Thank you and have a great week!

  • Reply Wendy April 13, 2016 at 05:49

    I really do love this post, Sue! “Reflecting on all we are grateful for takes the spotlight off us and our problems!” — this is so true. It is amazing how much worse things seem when we just dwell on them, yet how our spirits are lifted after we spend a little time talking to someone else about anything except our problems. It’s definitely something we can apply to our own lives just by having a thankful attitude. (And guess what topic I’m choosing to right about for “G” as well?? Haha!)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 13, 2016 at 12:38

      Yes when I wrote 99 things I love I didn’t think I would find that many but it is amazing all the little things we have to be grateful for. I can’t wait to read your post I’m sure it will be inspiring as usual.

  • Reply sherry April 13, 2016 at 13:07

    This is so true Sue. I lost my husband when he was 37, and it changed me. Life is too short, and I learned no to want more. I cherish family now, not things.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 20:39

      Oh Sherry how sad for you and what a tough lesson to learn about how precious life is. Sending you a big hug and thank you for stopping by to comment. Have a a beautiful day xxx

  • Reply Nikki April 18, 2016 at 22:54

    Sue, you know I love a great gratitude list. I am a firm believer on what we focus on grows, so why not focus on the good, to get more of the good. When we think of the good it shoves out the bad, cuz there’s just no more room for it. It’s such a great practice, and not only helps our mental health, our mental health rules pur physical health. So it’s good all the way around. So go forth, and be grateful! Right?

  • Reply gigi May 16, 2016 at 02:40

    I’m grateful for so many things! My husband, my cats, our home, our lifestyle, my family, my friends, my health!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 16, 2016 at 13:03

      Hi Gigi! It is amazing how many things we can come up with when we really think of gratitude and all the good things in our life! Life isn’t too bad after all. xx

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