Rita Thompson, NBC-HWC
National Board and Mayo Clinic-certified Health and Wellness Coach
Around the holidays there are a lot of wonderful conversations about gratitude. Hopefully it's a time of pause to reflect on what we might take for granted on a day-to-day basis.
Gratitude has a positive impact on our health through mood regulation, sleep quality, and chronic symptom management. We can literally build new neural pathways (the wiring in our brains) if we practice gratitude on a regular basis.
Gratitude should not be used to minimize what is challenging in our lives.
“I should be grateful my problem isn't as bad as….”
Remember not to use gratitude as a way to shame yourself out of recognizing the totality of what you are experiencing. This behavior is a cousin of toxic positivity where we try to “smile away” what we are really experiencing. These are just ways to numb our feelings, and that ultimately causes damage to our health and well-being.
Instead, practice an attitude of both/and.
Let's acknowledge the coexistence of struggle and joy, and of pain and gratitude.