Fortunately, everybody is born with the capacity to feel gratitude. Yet the way you express it and the intensity to which you express it will depend on how you were raised. Regardless of your upbringing, you can always work on being more grateful in your daily life. While creating a gratitude journal, where you write down things you’re grateful for during the day is certainly an effective strategy, but that’s not the only thing you can do. Read on for seven other strategies to help you cultivate gratefulness.
1. Find one good thing
Diabetes is with you 24/7, but if you can ﬁnd just one positive thing about every challenge you face, you will emerge stronger. “Something as simple as focusing on how we’re living with diabetes is a necessary paradigm shift from feeling like we’re dying from diabetes,” says Deroze, founder of Black Diabetic Info website, which provides culturally competent diabetes information. For example, when she wakes up with high fasting blood sugar, she might feel grateful after lowering it that she can go to work feeling better, which then sets her mood for the whole day. She adds, “It’s like a snowball eﬀect, once you create a habit of feeling grateful, it becomes your second nature to shift the mind when negativity sets in.”
Imagine that all of us are putting our problems in a pile and seeing everyone else’s too. Eventually, we’d end up grabbing ours back. The rationale behind the importance of stepping outside yourself and volunteering is very important. One may start looking to volunteer opportunities at a hospital or at a place that serves the underprivileged. You’ll learn that while diabetes isn’t the best thing in the world, it’s not the worst either. Once you realise this, you may see that you have more to be grateful for than you thought.
3. Create a gratitude reminder
Whether it’s a song you put on your phone, a saying you post on social media, or a string you wear on your wrist, ﬁnd one simple thing that either makes you happy or reminds you of a good memory. Then engage with this reminder for three to ﬁve seconds a day. You’ll immediately feel a burst of joy, and these positive emotions will lead you to gratitude,” says Nicole M. Bereolos, Ph.D., M.P.H., a clinical psychologist and certiﬁed diabetes educator in Dallas.
4. Acknowledge the power you have over your health
You may not be able to control every variable that aﬀects your diabetes. There may always be times when, in spite of all of your eﬀorts to keep your blood sugar stable, it still veers out of range. Yet, thanks to a wealth of medications, devices, and digital tools that have emerged over the past 10 years, you do have options when it comes to managing your blood sugar and your health. Rather than focusing on what you can’t control, try acknowledging the power you do have. In doing so, you may feel more uplifted about your experience
5. Feel grateful more often
Being thankful doesn’t just help us stay grounded and appreciate the things which bring us joy, gratitude actually has tangible health benefits. The feeling of gratitude releases a cascade of chemicals like dopamine from the brain which makes us feel positive and supports healing. Expressing our gratitude to others affects us in more ways than thought. Better sleep and reduced stress are only some of the advantages. These effects act together to give us even bigger benefits, such as lower blood pressure, improved heart health and better mental health. A joyful outlook and grateful attitude make us feel more energetic and motivated,” voices Luke Coutinho, Adviser of Integrative Lifestyle and Nutrition at Purenutrition.me.
6. Say thank you
This may be easier said than done, but try to take time to recognise the people who are helping you. By lightening your load, they’re helping you shift away from your pain. In order to thank them, you don’t have to bring stars or shift mountains, a simple act of gratitude can be performed by straight and simple thank-you, a small and meaningful gift, or a thoughtful note maybe. This will not only give you an immediate feeling of joy but to your loved one too.
7. Take a moment of gratitude
When you appreciate something around you, whether that’s a ﬂower or a cup of tea, your mindset automatically shifts. “One of my secrets to managing diabetes is to plan, and gratitude is one of those planned eﬀorts,” says Toby Smithson, a Diabetic Living advisory board member and author of Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for Dummies. She adds, “I make a conscious eﬀort to ﬁnd something that I’m grateful for every day. I state the phrase ‘stop and smell the roses’ each time I want to have a moment of gratitude. It is my verbal reminder.”