Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Many are recommending gratitude practices as a survival tool during our current isolation. As one teacher says, it is difficult to be sad if you are grateful. One of the benefits of isolation is time to reflect. This can be a time of spiritual growth if we choose to reflect on ourselves and the current state of our world. Mental health providers support the use of gratitude to enhance well-being. One study resulted in surprising findings. After ten weeks of gratitude reflections, participants reported better mental health but also that they engaged in more physical exercise.
Practicing gratitude is humbling. As I write this I recognize my place of privilege. As of now, my employment is not threatened and I have a pleasant place to spend my time along with pleasant company. I do spend a part of each day looking for various ways I can support those who need immediate help. Perhaps that is part of my gratitude and meditation practices.
Optimism is a side benefit of gratitude. Those of us who have resources owe it to ourselves and others to remain optimistic. Advocates need to maintain optimism to carry on their work for those whose lives and human rights are at extreme risk now. So sleep (much), drink (water) and be grateful!