How to Cultivate Gratitude in a Crisis

We’re still adjusting to life since ‘lockdown’ was announced in Great Britain. Being away from our regular routine of commuting to the office and meeting for a catch-up meal with friends can be difficult to navigate in the early days – we can quickly be weighed down by the updates and conversations around what’s currently taking place in the world.

We can all admit to scrolling just a tad too long on social media and staying so plugged in that we forget to see the positive amidst the chaos. Now, we’re not saying smile from ear-to-ear 24/7 and confess how glad you are about what’s happening (that would be questionable) but we are saying, consider ways to switch your perspective.

Our Marketing Assistant, Nneka, is here to show us ways that we can make gratitude a daily habit…

Research shows that being grateful has several benefits for our overall health and can positively affect relationships, our personality, career, health and general mood. Gratitude can:

Encourage selflessness

When you have a selfless attitude, you become a better listener, can practice patience and spend time empathising with others which is beneficial for everyone.

Reinforce generous behaviour

As you show gratitude for friends or family, or maybe even things like good health, a roof over your head and food to eat, it encourages others to also give and receive the gift of gratefulness.

Strengthen the connections we have with people

Thanking a loved one for something as simple as always putting a smile on your face when you’re feeling low can instantly boost both you and your friend/family member’s mood and confidence.

Shift negative feelings

When a wave of negativity tries to come over you, rather than dwelling on it too long, notice how it makes you feel and speak the opposite to yourself. Your family might think you’re losing it, but speaking positive affirmations out loud turns them from thoughts into reality.

So, how do you practice gratitude? There are different methods to practice the art of gratefulness that can benefit all, like:

Writing letters

Writing can be very therapeutic; you can address it to yourself or a loved one and go into as much or as little detail as you’d like. When you’re ready or feeling low, read over the letter again and it will remind you of all the little things in life to be grateful for.

Lists of 3’s

Apparently 3 is a precious number and is memorable. Try writing a list of three things a day that you’re grateful for. It can look something like this:

(I’ve tried this one personally and have to say, it works wonders).

Pondering on an experience

What memorable experiences do you have that make you happy? How did you feel in that moment, have you felt that way again since? If not, how can you make it happen? This one requires some creativity, as isolation may call for recreating the experience a little differently, but don’t let that restrict you. Get creative! Look through old photos or journals.

These are just some of the ways that gratitude can positively affect us, but ultimately gratitude will be personal to you. Set aside some time this week to pin-point moments that make you feel grateful.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.” – Robert Brault.