In the world of mental health, there are few connections stronger than the ties between resilience and gratitude. Through hard times, gratitude is paramount. You’ve probably heard the common advice: when you’re struggling, think of five things you’re grateful for.

There’s a reason why this advice works. Gratitude and resilience are deeply connected. To be grateful through adversity is to see the big picture—to change your perspective, to realign your thoughts. In all walks of life, practising gratitude can help you develop a more positive attitude towards yourself, other people, and the world.

Improve your quality of life and wellbeing

Have you heard of self-compassion? Well, practising gratitude is the number one way to care for yourself. Every time you have a negative thought about how you dress, how you act, or how you look, turn the thought around. Think about what you’re grateful for. Think, for example, you’re healthy. You have a roof over your head. You have clothes to keep your body warm and dry.

Through gratitude, you’ll be happier with yourself, your body and your life. You’ll build yourself into a resilient structure, unable to be penetrated by harsh words and criticisms.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, a 2017 study found that participants who practised gratitude journaling saw improvements in their overall mental health. It’s all about mindfulness. Check out the free apps Smiling Mind and The Resilience Project which can help you with your daily practice.

Improve your overall body health

Like any muscle in your body, you can train your brain to make it stronger. Exercise your mind, and your body will follow.

While scientists have found an association between depression and cardiovascular strain, gratitude has been shown to improve cardiovascular function. With willpower, you can push through anything. Also, practising gratitude has been shown to improve the body’s immune response and reduce the production of stress hormones.

Take a mental health day

You should never feel ashamed of taking a day off to focus on your mental health. Life gets hard and everyone needs a break sometimes. Mental health days are imperative for a productive workplace.

Interested in becoming a mental health advocate? Get involved now. There is so much you can do to help people living with mental health issues, including yourself.

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