During stressful times, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of hope or to notice what is still well with the world. People living in crisis or who are surrounded by stress find it difficult to recognize the positive changes that are happening with them or around them.
“There are proven techniques for helping people sustain the energy and commitment needed to survive crisis and/or stressful situations,” said Unison’s chief clinical officer, Dr. Larry E. Hamme.
Dr. Hamme recommends directing your focus to what you are thankful for at a time when you feel lost, empty, stressed and afraid. “Thinking about gratitude, choosing gratitude and living with gratitude can be helpful,” says Dr. Hamme.
There is a transformation that comes with the practice of gratitude - gratitude can make a remarkable difference in your life, he added.
Ten tips for cultivating an attitude of gratitude:
• Count your blessings. Then write them down. Whether you create a simple list, keep a regular journal or visually show what you are grateful for - counting your blessings is the number one prescription for developing gratitude.
• Keep your life in perspective. There are innocent people in prison, defenseless people being hurt or killed and millions of others born into extreme poverty every day. Recognize that there are many people worse off than you.
• Practice random acts of kindness. Doing something nice for someone else – especially for those who do not expect it – generates feelings of gratitude.
• Give thanks. It is important to show gratitude in word or deed. William A. Ward said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
• Let no deed go unnoticed. Give thanks to loved ones you may take for granted. Not only is positive reinforcement the greatest motivator, it is also a great way to teach gratitude to children.
• Reflect and focus on your most basic wants and needs. Pay particular attention to what truly matters – the things of the heart – including your personal creativity, fun, family, friends and community.
• Take time for yourself. Spend time alone doing something that brings you pleasure. Make the time fly.
• Break routine. Take time out – even for a short while – from mundane busywork to refresh and renew.
• Find the fun in it. Consciously focus on the fun factor of any task in which you are involved. Or, if possible, find a way to make the job at hand more fun.
• Relax physically. Go for a walk in a park. Find sensible ways to take care of your physical self.
Unison Behavioral Health Group provides care for the behavioral health needs and substance abuse/dependence disorders of adults and youth. Unison accepts Ohio Medicaid and most private insurances. Through their contract with the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County, Unison is able to offer subsidized services to Lucas County residents who are unable to afford the total cost of treatment. For more information, call 419-693-0631.