It is extremely hard to feel anxious or stressed when we have a sense of gratitude and appreciation for what we have in life. We are surrounded by such rich splendour and we have all created truly brilliant things in our lives, however, often these parts of us feel distanced and not felt. Read more ….
We can easily become bogged down with daily stressors and when things do not run smoothly. Undue concerns for the future and the infinite number of ‘what if’s’ can create feelings of unease and worry. Concerns for the past can lower our mood. Appreciating what we have and being in the present can life our mood.
The practise of being in the here and now is Mindfulness and has influences from Buddhist psychology. This is increasingly being recognised as helping manage anxiety and depression and click here to find out more about Mindfulness.
An exercise – ‘5 things’. Everyday, can you take time to consider 5 things that you appreciate about your life in the here and now. This could be thought about when you do a regular activity such as cleaning your teeth or you could take time to write these down, possibly as part of keeping a journal (see How Keeping a Journal Can Help You).
By doing this, you activate parts of the mind that are responsible for pleasure and the more these parts are activated, the more active they become. The same is unfortunately true of the parts of the mind that linked to worry – the more they’re activated, the more active they become. By considering what is good in our lives creates a sense of gratitude and feelings of wellbeing. As well as considering the bigger things in our lives and what they mean to us such as what we like about a loved one or what we like about our home, considering some of the smaller things can also be of great value.
For example, truly considering something as everyday as milk. The fact that you have milk sitting in your fridge is quite amazing and is an example of the sophistication in the development of our society. The milk in your fridge has gone through such a huge process from being in a cow to being pasteurised, bottle, distributed and popped in a shelf in a location near you so that you can take a small amount of money and buy it. In relation to what you get, it’s amazing value for money and the fact you have a fridge and that electricity comes into your home to power it is something to be appreciated.
Experiment with 5 things everyday and see if it alters your sense of appreciation and wellbeing.
As always, feel free to comment on this post or you can contact me with any questions, suggestions or enquiries.