Many times in our grief process we become focused on the hurt, pain, loneliness, and sadness that we are experiencing and often forget to reflect on things that we are thankful for. Being able to find gratitude throughout our journey can be a positive coping skill to help refocus our thoughts on positivity rather than feelings that we find more difficult or negative. Exploring our gratitude can lead to positive effects in our lives such as decreasing stress and anxiety, improving our mental health, improving our self-esteem, enhances our optimism, and can even help improve sleep. Be aware that at times through our grief journey it will be difficult to focus on gratitude but remind yourself that practicing this skill regularly will improve your ability to focus on positivity and change your thinking.
There are many ways to explore our gratitude on our journey:
- Make a list of people that you are grateful for.
- Make a list of things that you are grateful for.
- Take a walk and be mindful of the scenery.
- Be grateful for your senses. Make lists of what you are grateful to be able to see, touch, smell, hear, and taste.
- Make a list of memories of your loved one that you are grateful to have experienced.
- Make a list of goals that you have achieved and can be proud of.
- Make a list of difficult moments that you have experienced but was able to find a way to get through them.
- Write down at least one positive thing about your day.
- Make a list of compliments that others have given you.
- Write down some acts of kindness that you have experienced or given to others.