September 9, 2019

If Life Hands You Lemons, Make Some Lemonade!

By Emily Jensen, RVU Student

 

“Be grateful.” 

“Count your blessings.” 

“Look on the bright side.” 

Do these quotes sound familiar? I don’t know about you, but I have heard or seen quotes like these many times, and they especially affect me when I am going through a difficult time. Whether difficulties exist in our lives or not, gratitude should become a daily part of our lives. Why? Well, keep reading to find out.  

Gratitude is intimately linked with positive well-being. Think about it. When you are focusing on the good in your life, how do you feel? For me, my mental state is redirected and begins moving in a positive direction. I believe the mind breeds thoughts similar to the ones it is currently creating or on which it is focusing. Therefore, by taking a few moments to think of the positive things in our lives, we are able to influence our outlook on life in a positive way. Is there anyone who could use a positive boost in their day? I think we all could! 

There are numerous research articles available that have studied gratitude and its impact on different life situations. Below, I have summarized a few that I found insightful:

  • Relationships. In social settings, those who practice gratitude take less personal offense during conversations compared to those who are ungrateful. In marriages where both partners are grateful, marriage satisfaction is higher. In comparison, if one partner is ungrateful, both partners experience less marital satisfaction.  
  • Illness. People who suffer from various illnesses are able to cope better with their ailments and disorders and to utilize more fully a support system of family and friends when they incorporate gratitude in their daily lives. 
  • Loneliness, Depression, Stress. Completing daily gratitude practices helps protect against negative feelings associated with loneliness, depression, and stress. One research article in particular showed how gratitude helped lower suicide ideation in adolescents. 

Where do you fit in the above categories? Where do you see gratitude impacting your life or those around you? 

Since we have established that gratitude is important and necessary for healthier living, it is now time to start practicing. Practicing gratitude isn’t something that takes a huge chunk of time out of your day. You can easily do it while waiting at a stoplight, while brushing your teeth, or while trying to fall asleep. There are many opportunities to practice gratitude, so dedicate yourself to a moment that works best for you. 

Let me give you an idea of how easy it is to practice gratitude. If you are able to read this article, think about how amazing it is that you are able to understand the words on this page as well as see all the letters. More than thirty million adults in the United States cannot read past a third-grade level, and according to the World Health Organization, about 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. Education is a beautiful thing and so are your eyes. 

Now, take a few minutes to consider (or write down) a few more things for which you are grateful. It is easier than you think, and we can all use a boost of positivity in our lives. Ready. Set. Go! 

 

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