Written by Ron Haugen, DNM, and Artesia General Hospital Staff
With the holidays approaching, it might seem especially difficult this year to give thanks. Certainly, the challenges and struggles we’ve dealt with in 2020 have been uniquely difficult, with blows from lockdowns, economic distress, isolation and the pandemic itself.
Even so, it is worthwhile for each of us to take time to identify the things we are grateful for, and to take time to meditate on those good things. Why? Being grateful is good for us!
Multiple studies have examined the ways we are affected by a thankful outlook. A 2015 article in Psychology Today summarized several of the studies and highlighted some real benefits that are associated with an “attitude of gratitude.” According to the article, thankful people have more relationships, better physical and psychological health, enhanced empathy, improved self-esteem and increased mental resilience.
If you’re finding it difficult to be grateful, there are numerous articles online that have good suggestions. Here are a few important tips:
- Be mindful. Notice the good things that happen to you.
- Look for reasons to be grateful throughout your day.
- Start a gratitude journal, taking a few minutes every day to note the day’s positives.
With all the extra stresses of 2020, these self-help steps may not be enough. If counting your blessings is drowned out by negative thoughts or behaviors, contact the Behavioral Health team at Artesia General Hospital. You can request an appointment online or call 575.746.3119.