How to Reduce Stress with Gratitude

Posted on Nov 24, 2020 in Mental Health & Addiction Care, Scroll Images

A blog by Marianne Svendsen, LMFT with Sutter Health’s Employee Assistance Program

You may be feeling exhausted or burned out due to the impacts of COVID-19, the climate of social unrest, wildfires, the elections and upcoming holidays. These stressors may also cause you to feel sad or worried. Taken one by one, these events are almost unbearable but taken all together; it can feel very overwhelming.

The world may seem unsteady now, but we can steady ourselves by focusing on things for which we are grateful. If your coping skills have worn down, identifying what you’re thankful for can boost your well-being and strengthen your endurance during this stressful time.

Please take a minute to stop and reflect on what’s in front and available to us and appreciate it. This single moment can have a drastic impact on our well-being. There is evidence to suggest that there are psychological and physical health-related benefits when we practice gratitude. Benefits include improved sleep, increased energy levels and a strengthened immune system to ward off illness.

Pause to notice the beauty in small details. The sound of the birds that are chirping outside your window, the swirl of colors in the eyes of the one you love, the smell of pumpkin as you bake or the warmth of a blanket that a friend gave to you, these can help you cope with stress. You can spend one minute each morning and each evening to do this. You can also do this during other parts of your day, such as, while you wash your hands, in between commercials, while you’re on hold during a phone call or waiting for a video conference to begin.

If you have difficulty identifying something you are grateful for, here are some questions to help spur reflection and find gratitude:

  • What are some ways you’ve changed for the better?
  • What are the moments in your life that taught you big life lessons?
  • What miracles have you witnessed or experienced?
  • What are all the things you can do with your eyes closed?
  • What things make you laugh?
  • What are the reasons you are amazing?
  • What are the things that you cannot live without?
  • What significant issues have you survived in your life?
  • What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you?
  • What nice things have you done for someone?

For immediate assistance, please call the the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Posted by on Nov 24, 2020 in Mental Health & Addiction Care, Scroll Images | Comments Off on How to Reduce Stress with Gratitude