From the Counsellor’s Desk
Gratitude, Optimism and staying connected to close friends
Gratitude is a virtuous quality that allows us to see the best in ourselves, each other, a challenging situation and ultimately in our lives. The practice of gratitude helps us become more optimistic and optimism allows us to be more focussed and grounded on positivity especially when we are faced with uncertainty.
Recording and sharing our emotions decreases activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain attached to strong emotions like fear, hopelessness, and anxiety. Whether your goal is to reduce anxiety or increase gratitude, giving thanks and acknowledging it in written form can lead to a calmer outlook during this stressful time. So what can we do to show Gratitude; create a gratitude wall at home, make a virtual gratitude journal to share with your friends – where everyone can express what they are grateful for, send out messages to friends to express your gratitude or honour them on your status.
Practicing gratitude can become infectious, creating a sense of togetherness, belonging and happiness, allowing optimism to boom. True friends are always together, social distancing won’t keep them apart, and technology has made it easier to stay connected. I am sure that this message is being repeated in many different ways right now, but it is a message worth repeating. Especially during this period of being apart physically from many family, friends, and schoolmates. However, it is important to keep the bridges we do have to others intact by reaching out, maintaining friendships, sharing gratitude and being optimistic together.