Practising gratitude

November 27, 2020

Laura Duff

Life Hacks

When you are really down, and somebody disregards the way you are feeling and says to you, “you have so much to be grateful for!”, nothing could annoy you more. This has happened to me so many times. You already know that. You know you’re lucky to have shoes on your feet. You know you are lucky to have a roof over your head, and money to buy food. That’s part of the frustration of feeling low; feeling guilty as you’re painfully aware of how relatively privileged you are. You’re in a lucky position - so you feel stupid about feeling down. Anyway, the point is this: the people that are telling you to be grateful are actually right, though they don’t know why they are right. They say it because it seems like a good thing to say.

The reason they are right is because practising gratefulness really does help to improve your mental health. Not because you are saying you are in a luckier position than other people - it’s not about comparison. Practising gratefulness is about putting aside time to realise what you have, what motivates you. If you actually set aside time in your day to think about what you like in your life, it helps you gradually change your perspective on things.

On a personal note, I have developed the habit of writing down 10 things I am grateful for whenever I am having a bit of a breakdown. I suffer from bouts of anxiety where my thoughts actually are in charge of me. They can be so quick, it seems impossible to stop thinking. I harness that energy to write my 10 pieces of gratitude.

It can be anything. Like being grateful for being able to afford costa coffee’s new line of hot chocolates. Maybe the act of just writing that down will spark your craving for it, you will call up a friend and ask them to join you - and you will feel better for it.

Practising gratefulness improves your mental health, therefore it improves your overall experience of life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The team call me the 'mighty Duff'. I'm 19 years old and study Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh. Throughout our time together, I'll be writing about topics related to mental health, food and fitness! I'm also a host for the Wedotalk, check them out on YouTube, Spotify or Soundcloud! Down below you'll find my personal links, I make vlogs as a hobby!

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