Mindfulness approaches are gaining popularity and being supported by the studies as a way to create mental, emotional and physical wellness. A particular approach that can be perceived as falling under the mindful school of thought is practicing gratitude. Sadly, our culture focuses on scarcity according to Dr. Brene Brown. Dr. Brown emphasizes that we belong to a culture that cultivates the belief that nothing is “good enough.” We are NOT
- beautiful enough
- good enough
- rich enough
- smart enough
- funny enough
- thin enough
And the list goes on. What this does psychologically is make us feel that we are deficient in so many facets of our lives. Such thinking also catapults us into the future where we fantasize about what would be good enough. In the meantime, our sense of self worth erodes and deteriorates and we become obsessed with when we will feel “good enough.” Indeed this line of thinking is subjective as we compare ourselves to others who appear to be “good enough” or possibly perfect. Sadly, people spend their lives yearning for what they deem is “good enough” and chasing what they would consider is happiness. The more individuals chase their happiness in the form of being “good enough”; the more this idea eludes them. The chase is a bottom-less pit that can never be filled; which is the reason individuals ending up chasing happiness and not finding it. People get stuck in the future of when they will feel “good enough” and ignore the present. In addition, we begin to neglect and ignore the areas of our lives that we should be thankful for.
To get out of this vicious cycle, it is important to practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude daily has been found by the research to increase joyful living. Studies also suggest that practicing gratitude lowers the lifetime risk for mental illness and can alleviate depression.
TIP: Having a daily gratitude journal is associated with more exercise, fewer symptoms and general life satisfaction according to Dr. Robert Emmons. Practicing gratitude has the power to heal us in a myriad of ways and to become grounded into the present.
A.C.T. will provide free resource information for individuals and families to help promote education. For more information, please contact Dr. Drecun at Dr.Drecun@a4ct.com or (858) 792-3541. You may also visit us online at www.a4ct.com. ACT serves the Del Mar 92014 and Rancho Santa Fe 92067 area.