Gratitude is proven to reduce stress
Gratitude is a great stress reduction technique for caregivers. It’s a simple, but truly effective way to combat stress. Plus, it’s free, quick, and can be done anytime, anywhere.
Studies show that practicing gratitude can make you happier, lower stress, protect you from depression, help you sleep better, boost your immune system, and improve your relationships. It helps with so many aspects of life that are affected by caregiver stress.
We explain what gratitude really means, share 2 positive effects of gratitude that reduce caregiver stress, and suggest a simple way to add a little gratitude to your day.
Gratitude isn’t about ignoring bad things
Being grateful doesn’t mean ignoring negative feelings. Nobody is suggesting that caregivers should suck it up and be thankful no matter how tough things get.
Gratitude is about noticing that there are always some positive things in your life, no matter how dark things may seem.
Being aware of that helps you get a different perspective. It also helps you to see that things are not 100% terrible all the time. During tough times, that’s comforting to know.
2 positive effects of gratitude for caregivers
1. It helps you become more optimistic
Getting into the habit of noticing and being thankful for the good things (small or big) improves your overall attitude. It also trains your brain to become naturally more optimistic.
2. It helps you focus on what you DO have
Instead of getting sucked into a negative spiral about what you don’t have, use gratitude to pay attention to what you do have. Make a conscious effort to focus on the people, situations, and things that make life better.
Use a simple gratitude journal to reduce caregiver stress
One of the best (and simplest) ways to practice gratitude is to keep a journal. This can be as simple as a paper notebook, a text document on your computer, or a notes app on your mobile device.
The point is to give you a place to write down the things that make you feel grateful. There’s no right or wrong way to do it.
A few suggestions to get started:
- Set aside a few minutes each day to think about and write down one or more things you’re grateful for.
- Read over your journal when you’re feeling down or extra stressed. Reviewing your list is a good way to boost your mood and shift your perspective.
- Notice big things (example: I’m grateful that I have a caring person in my life) as well as small things (example: I really enjoyed the weather today) – everything counts!
Practicing gratitude by keeping a journal is free, easy to do, and truly does reduce stress. Why not try it for a couple of weeks and then see how you feel?
Recommended for you:
- 6 Benefits of Journaling for Caregivers
- 5 Ways to Use a Journal to Reduce Caregiver Stress
- 3 Ways to Prevent Caregiver Stress and Burnout
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Rockpool Publishing