A positive mindset can have a hugely positive impact on your life. Focusing on negative circumstances, wallowing in bad feelings or allowing negative thoughts to dominate your day not only affects your mental health but your physical health too.
Research has shown that negative attitudes can create chronic stress, which upsets your body’s hormone balance, depletes the brain chemicals required for happiness and damages the immune system.
But what can you do about it? What can you do when life gives you lemons and you’re stuck in a negative cycle?
Your friends and family might try to help, sending you positive quotes on Facebook and telling you to just “stay positive”. But does it really help? There is a simple solution.
Now, I know it might sound a little too new-age and airy-fairy for some of you, but there’s actually a science
behind how gratitude works. Studies have indicated that simply expressing gratitude may have lasting effects on the brain. While not conclusive, the findings suggest that practising gratitude may help train the brain to be more sensitive to the experience of gratitude in the future, and this could contribute to improved mental health over time. So how can you make gratitude work for you? Keep a gratitude journal. It’s really simple to do. Keep a notebook by your bed and every evening, just before you go to sleep, write down all the things you’re grateful for that day. It could be big things or small things like the cup of coffee your partner brought you this morning. As we come to the end of a tough year, it’s the perfect time to take a little control over your mindset and put some healthy habits into practice for the year to come. So grab a notebook and start making gratitude work for you too.