Largely quarantined to our homes, our outer worlds have been upended resulting in mounting pressures and changes to our home, work and living arrangements.
It's easy to succumb to a feeling of resentment about all we cannot do, even grieving for our temporarily severed lives.
Yet in this different time, there is much we can do to promote a positive mindset to help us weather the COVID-19 storm.
One way is developing a gratitude practice. Not only does this momentarily uplift our mood, it releases neurotransmitters associated with enhanced wellbeing: serotonin and dopamine.
Gratitude practice extends beyond the notion of a thank you.
Practice is the operative word. The more we do it the better we become.
It's easy feeling grateful when everything in our lives is just as we'd like. The challenge is drawing on this potent inner resource when things are not.
What you place your attention on grows, so if you focus on all the things you can't do at this time, the more you'll be consumed by these things you can't do.
This can result in a downward negative spiral affecting mood and motivation.
An effective way of growing our capacity for gratitude is through a three-step process: noticing, pausing and absorbing the things or people we're appreciative or grateful for.
It can begin at a personal level by expressing gratitude for our physical body, for all the hard work it does to keep us healthy whether we ask it to or not.
Then expanding this feeling to our loved ones, really connecting to qualities we're so appreciative of, and how in turn they make us feel.
Rippling onto acquaintances and into the broader community - our supermarket staff, health workers and others on the invisible frontline.
The more you consciously connect to feelings of gratitude the more you train your brain to notice the good; this enables these feelings to sink deeper within, countering our brain's negativity bias, and positively affecting wellbeing.
No matter how challenging our lives get, in the present moment there is always something to be grateful for. We can use this time to grow weeds in our minds' gardens, or seedlings.
Gravitate towards gratitude and allow its potency to soak in. You will thank yourself for it.
Ros Ben-Moshe is an adjunct lecturer at La Trobe University, and positivity, resilience and wellbeing coach at LaughLife Wellbeing Programs.
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