Posted by: seattledizzygroup | November 30, 2020

Practicing Gratitude with a Chronic Illness

Ways to Cultivate Gratitude While Chronically Ill

When living with a chronic illness, finding things to be thankful for can be challenging. Practicing gratitude can help shift our focus away from the struggles to the things that we still enjoy and appreciate in our lives. Even acknowledging just one or two positive things each day for which to be grateful can help boost mood and improve outlook.

These articles discuss the benefits of practicing gratitude while living with a chronic illness:

“A recent research study found that gratitude predicted lower depression in chronic illness populations (Sirois & Wood, 2017).  The study’s authors define gratitude as ‘a life orientation towards noticing the positive in life, including both thankfulness to others and a wider sense of appreciation for what one has (Sirois & Wood, 2017).’  I’m struck that this definition in no way precludes the presence of anger and sorrow.  To be thankful for what one possesses does not mean that one cannot simultaneously feel grief for what one has lost.”

Cultivating Gratitude while Living with Chronic Illness

Cultivating gratitude amid chronic illness doesn’t just happen, you have to seek it out. It requires you to be self aware of others and the world around you. It means focusing on things that really matter, often beyond yourself. It requires an appreciation for the little things, like a hug from a loved one or the warmth of the sunlight on your skin on a sky blue day. Eventually you’ll find that gratitude requires less effort on your part and starts to become a subconscious recognition of all that is good in your life. You’ll find yourself worrying less about your own health as you focus on the welfare of others. You’ll start to appreciate what you can do, instead of what you can’t. You’ll begin to feel grateful for life and all the possibilities it still offers you.

Cultivating Gratitude with Chronic Illness

“Being more grateful for the things in your life is one of the best ways to practice self care. A regular gratitude practice can help to center you, reduce anxious feelings, feel better about yourself and even help those around you to feel better about yourself. If you don’t have an intentional gratitude practice in your life, here’s 5 easy ways to practice gratitude daily.”

5 Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude Every Day

“Thinking small doesn’t mean trying to talk myself out of my unappreciative mood by giving myself a lecture about everything I have to be grateful for. Instead, it means, first, acknowledging that I feel pretty thankless sometimes, and then looking around for some little thing to be grateful for.”

Finding Gratitude Despite the Pandemic

“It’s important when practicing gratitude not to invalidate your feelings of stress…You can have both: a strong sense of gratitude along with feelings of sadness, confusion, or anxiety.”

Forcing Gratitude Isn’t Good for Mental Health

See Also:  Choosing Positivity Despite Chronic Illness

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