Democracies devolving into chaos. Natural disasters ravaging multiple countries. To top it all off, a pandemic is raging across the entire globe. Life can be tough sometimes. The world can be a chaotic place and for some, it can be hard to figure out a good way to combat all of that negativity. Yet, it’s hard to escape when it seems so encompassing.
Diego Ruiz Duran, a Criminal Defense Attorney leading reform in Mexico City, knows how important a positive mindset is to facing the tough realities of the world. As a champion for strengthening the legal framework in Mexico to prevent violence against women, establish a fair and solid foundation for a Constitution, and pushing to better reintegrate formerly incarcerated people back into the community, Mr. Duran realizes that practicing a mindset of gratitude is an important building block for success. Showing appreciation for what he has and the work he has expended to get where he is in his business and life is obvious in his dedication to his work and his community.
Gratitude is defined as a “state of being grateful”. To put it as transparently as possible, gratitude is an attitude or way of living that relies on acknowledging and appreciating the small pleasant things we receive each day. But, then we are required to take it a step further and be thankful that we have these experiences, even if they are small.
Many studies over the past few decades have proven time and again that practicing daily gratitude has multiple benefits for a person. At the top of the list is that daily gratitude can help someone become more optimistic. Some studies suggest that in as little as ten days people who began practicing daily gratitude could feel a change in their optimal level. Optimism and mindfulness are great ways to improve or maintain well balanced mental health and assist with healthy aging.
Physical well being is a key component in healthy aging and unsurprisingly, daily gratitude can provide beneficial effects here as well. Not only can practicing gratitude help relieve anxiety which helps lower tension and stress levels, but it can also help prevent certain side effects of heart disease. By learning to live in the moment and appreciate the small things we become less focused on the bad things, which can lead to depression or even aches and pains. When people feel better physically they are more productive and more likely to engage with others.
Daily gratitude has a beneficial effect on our personal relationships as well. One thing many successful couples claim contributes to their happiness and longevity is feeling connected and appreciated by their partners. When we recognize and appreciate the support and effort our spouse puts into our relationships it reaffirms that we are in this together. That, in turn, allows us to be more creative and confident in our other endeavors.
With the world’s every changing climate people have been trying to find ways to better adjust and keep a more positive outlook on life. After all, any journey begins with the first step. So how can someone put daily gratitude into practical use? Diego Ruiz Duran published an article with Thrive Global and stated that the best way he has found to keep practicing daily gratitude and keep a positive mindset is to give back to the community.
Often the best way to remember the many things in life we have to be grateful for is to help those who have far less. Not only does it help people get back in touch with their empathy and humility, but it can also remind us that we’re not so different from one another. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or donate gently used things to Domestic Violence shelters. There are many ways to meet needs in your local community.
Journaling is another fantastic way to practice daily gratitude, especially if social gatherings don’t fit a person’s comfort zone. This is also a great way to work self inventory and finding ways to personally hold oneself more accountable. Sometimes gratitude comes with a little extra work. Don’t be afraid. Learning to actively take a few moments to appreciate life is the same as learning anything else: It takes time.
Gratitude is a fundamental key to mental and physical well being, as well as, a great way to strengthen character and develop humility. When put into daily practice it can truly change an individual’s entire mindset for the better.