Self Care series tip #7
Gratitude increases happiness and wellbeing in menopause.
People are always aspiring to what they don’t have. Ambition is a good thing, it brings us achievement and awards, but it is not a path to happiness.
Happiness research is a relatively new field that had blossomed in the past decade or so. The many studies that have been done to discover what practices actually increase happiness have clearly shown that gratitude is up there.
Yup, gratitude. Not more money (beyond a certain level), not beauty, not success, but simple gratitude.
Happiness researchers tell us that reminding ourselves of what we are grateful for having, rather than striving for what we don’t have, increases our sense of wellbeing and overall happiness.
The best way to count our blessings is, well.. to count them. Keeping a “gratitude journal” in which you note down at least three things you are grateful for each day is proven to be one of the most effective ways of reminding ourselves of what we are thankful for.
How to create a gratitude habit in menopause:
Get yourself a special notebook
Buy a notebook that gives you pleasure to look at and handle.
Keep it by your bed
Keeping it next to you so that you are able to have quick access to it will remind you to jot down what you are grateful for that day.
Make it part of a routine
Incorporate a few gratitude minutes into your morning or evening routine, whichever feels more natural.
Gratitude for people
Think of people in your life for whom you are grateful: Maybe someone helped you in school when you were younger or opened the door for you this afternoon. The mere act of thinking about it brings up many people we are grateful for.
Gratitude for pleasures
Take a mental walk through your garden or a place you love. Write about it in your journal.
Gratitude for privilages
Think about the physical or material advantages you have been given in life.
Note down one or two things that happened to you in the day that were positive or joyful.
Gratitude increases happiness and wellbeing.
Why does gratitude increase a sense of happiness and wellbeing?
We, again, turn to science for the answers:
If you are grateful, you will see the world in a more positive way
Research tells us that growing those neural pathways through the practice of gratitude allows us to interpret events, even negative ones, in a more positive light, which helps us to deal with them better.
You pay attention to what you focus on
When we are actively grateful, such as by keeping a gratitude journal, we pay more attention to the good things around us. To make the point clearer, if you are afraid of cats, you pay much more attention to them than a person who isn’t. What you pay attention to takes up more space in our thinking.
Gratitude creates good memories
Studies have also shown that people who are more grateful remember more good memories than bad ones.
So, overall, practicing gratitude makes us happier and more able to deal with stress and negative emotions when they occur.
In menopause, when we are dealing with all the changes that are happening to our bodies, thoughts and emotions, it is particularly important to develop a gratitude routine. Jotting down three to five good things that happen to you each day is an excellent way of doing that.
Also, why don’t you check out all the other tips in the menopause self-care series, here.
Like any other habit, it takes practice and consistency. Initially, it may feel a little awkward, but trust the research that plainly shows that this simple habit works!
So strengthen your gratitude muscle and start that journal, because, you guessed it, gratitude increases happiness and wellbeing in menopause when you practice it regularly.
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