In keeping with SAMHIN’s mission of greater dialogue on mental health in the South Asian community and to highlight the important work of others in this area, we invited Jaspreet Kaur, a medical student, to share her thoughts and experience with a daily gratitude practice.
Practicing gratitude every day can positively change our lives by improving our mental health and fostering healthier relationships. It can help us value each small moment and acknowledge those around us. As we start to recognize the little wins, we develop a mentality focused on improving our overall well-being. It doesn’t require a lot of work to be grateful. We can start by observing our experiences and our own feelings. We can even learn more about ourselves by pointing out the cause behind our negative emotions and digging deeper to rewire our brains for more joy and less stress.
Consider keeping a gratitude journal to help reduce your daily stressors and reinforce the goodness within your life. If you are able to oversee your day and focus on positive occurrences within your life, you will slowly but surely develop a more positive, stress-free mindset. Keeping this journal will also help you decipher what aspects of your life provide happiness and growth and what aspects are a hinderance in your journey. Being able to discern between the two and take action toward a happier more optimistic life will, in the long run, provide for a more fulfilling journey.
Keeping a gratitude journal is something I have been doing for a long time and is quite simple to incorporate into my daily routine. As you wake up in the morning, take some time to write down the events you are excited about and at least 5 things that you are grateful for in your life. Truly take the time to reflect and understand your emotions. Just 10-15 minutes each day can shift your thinking and how you perceive your reality. You can also set an intention for that day. Practicing this ideology in the morning starts your day with positive energy and allows you to think more optimistically about what the day can bring you. Similarly, before you sleep, you can go back to your gratitude journal and write down a comment or person you met that positively resonated with you.
Recalling these moments of gratitude tied with ordinary events and special people creates the potential to build a practice of continued appreciation into your life. There are days when we are reminded of our difficult times but reflecting on our progress makes us appreciate our present state and even motivates us to reach further heights. Being aware of the blessings around us is the first step, but savoring these moments can truly help us appreciate the beauty in our life.
By Jaspreet Kaur
Medical Student, NYITCOM Old Westbury, NY
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About the Authors Joshua Brown Joshua Brown, Brown, J. B. J., & Wong, J. W. J. (n.d.). How gratitude changes you and your brain. Greater Good. Retrieved September 13, 2022.