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Gratitude Increases Mental Strength

When it comes to our mental health, we are particularly good at identifying and picking out all the things that are “wrong” with us or with our lives, what needs to be “fixed,” and how things are not going well for us right now. But it is much harder for us to consider the positive aspects of our lives, especially when we are experiencing mental health issues. Once we are in a state of mental turmoil, it becomes hard to think past the problems we are currently facing and to be grateful for the blessings we have in our lives.

But, if you can make this mental shift, if you can change your mindset to one of gratitude over one of discontent or scarcity, then you will find that you are much better equipped to overcome obstacles and move past setbacks in your life. It turns out the being grateful actually improves our resiliency and mental strength, which can help us in challenging times.

Why We Focus on the Negative

There is a reason why our minds tend to think more about the obstacles we are facing. Our brains are geared toward this way of thinking because we must pay attention to those barriers that are interfering in our lives if we hope to move past them. We must be aware of obstacles, or else we will not be able to figure out how to overcome them. And, because the positive things in our life are propelling us forward mostly without our attention, our minds decide that we do not need to pay attention to those because, after all, they are working just fine without our awareness.

But are they? As it turns out, when we lose focus on the positive aspects of our lives, we start to feel more negative and have difficulty seeing solutions to the problems we may face. Negativity tends to breed more negativity, leading us to feel more depressed once we are depressed, more anxious once we feel anxiety, and less like we can succeed when we experience failure or setbacks.

Being grateful takes attention and effort. It is not something that will just happen. But when you learn to focus on those things in your life that you appreciate, you will notice many improvements, including feeling stronger and more equipped to overcome the obstacles that you will inevitably face in life.

Resiliency requires your ability to believe that you can overcome obstacles as well as identify solutions to problems. When you practice regular gratitude exercises, you not only see how you have been able to conquer past barriers and setbacks, but you believe more positively in your future. Being grateful helps you identify the positive things in your life that can help you to beat whatever you are facing, too.

When you are grateful and show this in your life, others see it and respond positively, too, helping you form stronger relationships that can help you during troubling times. And being appreciative in your life improves your self-esteem, which can give you the extra boost you need to successfully navigate difficulties and barriers.

Learning to be more grateful also helps you to see the positive aspects of struggle, which include teaching you many valuable life lessons and helping you to build strength through adversity. Changing your mindset to one that values failure as a learning experience is invaluable to successfully navigating these types of setbacks.

Final Thoughts

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can help you become more resilient and mentally strong over time. Try just one gratitude exercise per day to shift your mindset toward appreciation and to value what is positive in your life.

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