Three Ways Gratitude Helps Caregivers By Guest Blogger Terrie Meredith

If you are caring for a loved one right now, you know better than most how stress can negatively affect your well-being. Not only does it impact you, but those in your life also feel the consequences. If we are struggling to manage stress, how can we expect to share our best selves with others?

I have something to propose to you, and no, it’s not yoga. It’s gratitude! Gratitude is to be mindful and thankful for the positives in your life. If someone asked you right now, “what are you grateful for?”, what would be the first thing you’d say? Some people would say their car, family, etc., but I challenge you to think simpler. Water, a bed, or our health are things we may not realize we are taking for granted.

There are countless studies on gratitude and its advantages. Three of those benefits include:

1.           It shifts your perspective

2.           It improves your quality of sleep

3.           It’s an instant mood booster

A shift in your perspective can make you realize that, although no one is immune to stress, anyone can be grateful. We may not have as much control over certain aspects of our life, but we can always control how we react to and respond to them. Let’s imagine you’re about to go to bed, but your mind is racing about everything that went wrong that day. Allowing yourself a few minutes to take some deep breaths and either journal or say three things you’re grateful for, is sure to combat that stress. Negative thoughts won’t stand a chance!

It’s not easy to change the way we think, especially if we are accustomed to focusing on the negative. Athletes, artists, and other professionals practice and eventually become pros at their craft. The same concept applies to practicing gratitude. The more you do it, the easier it will be. You may be shocked by how much better you feel on a day-to-day basis! Then, you can be your best self, improving quality of life for yourself and your loved one.

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