How Gratitude Helps Us Heal and Remain Hopeful

Jasmine R., Family Smart Youth in Residence on August 31, 2018

It’s easy to get caught up in everything that is not going well and get caught up in the negative energy, but we can and have the ability to seek the silver lining in each situation, day and curve ball tossed our way. It is gratitude for everything that we have learned, the people who support us unconditionally, and the kind things that people do or say that help us move forward and process the hard stuff. Gratitude has been my anchor of hope when I couldn’t see the lightness ahead and by collecting evidence of all the moments something good happened to me, I was able to turn that into my clutch as I took it one day at a time.

However, gratitude isn’t about creating lists or naming things aloud. It is about really feeling into your emotions and noticing what is going on in your body. You need to feel in order to really believe and plant yourself in a foundation of gratitude. A good friend and mentor of mine says “what you focus on expands.” In other words, when you focus on kindness, positivity, and the lessons learned you only notice more of those things. In comparison, if you are absorbed by all the pain, heartache, and mistakes, that is all that you see and will continue to see. Perspective is so important and truly impacts our experiences and interactions in the world.

I can credit learning how to properly feel gratitude as being one of my coping mechanism to getting through some really rough days when I felt that everything was falling apart and that I was always going to feel the way I was feeling.

When we look for the lightness and the goodness, we only begin to see more of it. This doesn’t belittle or discredit the challenges and hard things we experience, but living in that heavy energy only drives us to feel more hopeless, helpless, and overwhelmed. Start with the basics if you can’t come up with anything - the coffee you drank this morning, having access to clean water, where you are in this present moment or the people in your life that lift you up.

 

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar

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BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

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RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

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