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Filed Under: Personal
How Practicing Gratitude Helps Me Cope With My Anxiety

How Practicing Gratitude Helps Me Cope With My Anxiety

DISCLAIMER: While practicing gratitude can provide many benefits, it does not treat anxiety. Practicing gratitude should not take the place of seeing a mental health professional. Just because it has benefited me does not mean it will benefit everyone. Each of us experiences things differently so don’t feel left out if you don’t 100% connect to this post! If you ever feel differently, tell us your perspective in the comments! We would love feedback.

Thanksgiving this year was different. Not just for me, but for everyone. It may seem like there isn’t much to be thankful for this year, but there is always something. Something as simple as having another day, getting to have a meal and a drink. I wrote this post to show you that if you can find one thing to be grateful for each day, it can help you move past the things that might be weighing you down. Reminding yourself of what you are grateful for helps you compensate for what you have been through. It also helps you remember why you go through what you go through. For me, gratitude is a tool that helps me work through my own feelings and I wanted to talk about this, especially during this time of year. 

I had a moment of vulnerability on Thanksgiving and thought it would be helpful to share my thought process. It was 7:30pm on Thanksgiving and I had just got home from packing orders with my sister and brother all day. Sitting on the kitchen counter was a fresh batch of my mom’s baked ziti and homemade refrigerator cookies for dessert. I know, not your typical Thanksgiving meal but something we were so excited to come home to. We were all exhausted so we didn’t sit down and eat together, and since I was alone, I did what I absolutely hate doing. I started comparing my day to other’s. 

I haven’t mentioned this too much yet, but a lot of my anxiety stems from comparison. So I started scrolling through my feed on Thanksgiving and saw so many seemingly happy families, happy people, incredible food spreads, and more. And for a split second, I was reminded of my parents divorce, that I was eating alone, and the differences within my own family in general. But then I snapped back to reality and reminded myself of all the things I am grateful for; A family that makes me feel loved. A business that is prosperous, giving us the opportunity to pay it forward- this is something my sister and I particularly love. Being able to work with my siblings- we may get on each other’s nerves but I am so incredibly grateful to be able to see them every day and work towards something we love to do. Having a home cooked meal that my mom prepared for my siblings and I, a roof over my head, a music playlist that makes me dance, and much more.

At the end of the day, being reminded of the “little” things in life truly eases my mind and helps me cope with my moments of anxiousness. I try to remind myself of these things throughout the year because it is something that has helped me work through my own feelings. It forces me to focus more on what I have and less on what I don’t. We all have our own struggles, but if we can remind ourselves each day of one thing we are grateful for, it helps put life into perspective and to appreciate the positives. I know that when I’m having a bad day, thinking of a few things I’m grateful for helps to change my mood. It may not always be easy, but perspective is everything and having one positive takeaway each day can help push you forward on your own journey.

Although the circumstances were different this year, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!