The student years are often a time of striving, of wanting more. While motivation can be a good thing, it also has a way of contributing to stress. To keep everything in balance, it can be helpful to remind yourself of what you already have and what you’ve already accomplished.
Learning how to develop a mindset of gratitude can help you recognize and savor the good that’s already around you. Studies have shown that when you can focus your attention on what you’re grateful for, you can generate greater happiness and optimism.
When you can repeatedly recognize and appreciate the good, you can develop positive thinking patterns that can help influence your moods, behaviors, and other aspects of life. This, in turn, can help you manage life’s challenges more effectively.
Here are some of the many benefits of developing an attitude of gratitude:
- Better emotional control. By recognizing and appreciating your strengths and the people and resources available to you, you are more likely to act proactively. By taking the initiative, you become more resilient in managing stress and reducing the impact it can have on your emotions and behaviors.
- Healthier relationships. Practicing gratitude has been shown to enhance relationships by helping people become more empathetic, generous, and less aggressive and competitive. Healthier relationships, in turn, can lead to improved happiness and decreased loneliness.
- Better sleep and overall wellness. Focusing on gratitude, especially while falling asleep, can help you sleep more soundly and have fewer sleep disturbances. This, in turn, can help improve your overall health.
Here are a few strategies to make gratitude part of your everyday life:
- Keep a gratitude list: Start your day and end your day by focusing on the positives. Look around you and appreciate the positive things in life—even those that are ordinary, like having a place to live, food to eat, friends, and family.
- Learn to recognize the positive, even in challenging situations. During life’s stressful moments, take a moment to breathe and look for your strengths and the resources available to you.
- Try to pay it forward. Making someone else happy first can help you build healthy relationships and a positive support network.
Practicing gratitude can be viewed as another tool for practicing self-care. However, there are many times when self-care is not enough. Your Assistance Program can be an excellent resource for additional guidance and referrals. To learn more, please contact Member Support.