How To Be Grateful During the COVID-19 Crisis

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At a time of great uncertainty, it is easy for fear to dominate people’s minds. However, Gold Coast Mindset and health coach Angela Simson says it is more important than ever to focus on gratitude.

Throughout the current coronavirus pandemic, people are losing their jobs, their income, and for many their health. Sometimes it can feel like there are few things left to smile about. However, studies show a regular gratitude practice is a vital tool for improving mental and physical health.

Research has shown that expressing gratitude and counting blessings can help people improve sleep, reduce stress and enhance interpersonal relationships.

Furthermore, last year a study found that keeping a gratitude journal decreased materialism and bolstered generosity among adolescents.

Angela Simson is a 33-year-old health and happiness coach and founder of The Gratitude Project.

Both within her business and her personal life and brand, Ange preaches the importance of gratitude as a tool to transform your mindset and overall wellbeing. She recounts how shifting her perspective from pessimism to thankfulness enabled her to go from a stressed and overwhelmed new mum to a thriving businesswoman and entrepreneur and shares her tips on incorporating more gratitude practices into your everyday life.

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I need to connect back to my faith today, because it feels harder than it has so far. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In the last 24 hours I’ve noticed so much division. I’ve noticed people getting frustrated around those who won’t stay home. I’ve noticed people who think this is a joke getting louder about their anger in the way this is playing out. But what is really making me sad is that, yet again, a time where we could grow united, our opinions maybe the thing to tear us apart. I don’t believe that we should all agree, I don’t believe that we all need to have the same opinion or believe the same story. But I believe in respecting one another. Especially in a time when so many people are so scared. I believe in asking the better quality questions instead of complaining about the things that are currently out of our control. Instead of talking about how rapidly mental health is declining because we have to stay home, why aren’t we calling those that were worried about or asking the question of “How could I take care of my mental state through this?” Instead of complaining about how long it may be until school goes back, couldn’t we just ask the question of ”How can I best utilise this time and make it work for my situation?” And instead of complaining, this isn’t fair, people aren’t doing the right thing, the government has it all wrong… Couldn’t we just ask ourselves how we can make some of this better in our own small way? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There are so many people that this is affecting. I’m terrified for all the women who are stuck at home with a violent partner and can no longer escape to the shops for a little relief. I’m sad for anyone who is affected during the bushfires who has been forgotten by many. I’m hurt for the women who are going give birth and miss the magic of having their family around them in the days and weeks following. But the collective fear, anger and frustration doesn’t solve any of this. The collective faith, resourcefulness and love does. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Instead of being on our soapbox and making noise about what is wrong right now, I encourage everyone to make noise about what is right and how we can help. So many people are and I see you, thank you 🙏🏽

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1. Write A Gratitude Journal

Ange suggests starting a gratitude journal that you can write in every day. However, she warns against gravitating to general and grandiose statements that can become repetitive and don’t require a lot of thought.

Reflecting on her own journey of implementing a gratitude practice she says, “At the start of every day (or in the evening if I found my mornings were off to a really crazy start) I would do a gratitude journaling practice.

However, when I first started to do this, what I found was I would write down 3 things such as ‘I am grateful for my husband, I am grateful that I am healthy, and I am grateful for my comfortable bed’ and it didn’t do anything”.

As opposed to this, Ange recommends recounting small moments within your day that you can relive and hone in on the emotion associated with that memory.

She says this is because, “when we relive an event in our heads, the body actually releases a lot of the same hormones that are released while the actual event is taking place.”

Using a weekly planner to write down 3 things that you are grateful for each day is a great way to track this practice as a habit and also enables you to look back on your blessings from each day.

2. Use A Daily Occurrence as A Trigger for Gratitude

Drawing on Brendan Bruchard’s concept of ‘Doorframe Triggers’,  which uses a regular habit (like walking through a door) to trigger a new practice, Ange recommends using a habit or daily occurrence to remind you to “bring the joy”.

Ange used sitting down in the front seat of her car as a reminder to do a body check.

“What that means is that every time I sit in my car (whether I am a driver or a passenger) I ask myself ‘how does my body feel right now?’ Do I feel anxious, tight, stressed or do I feel relaxed and joyful?”

She says, “For me, sitting in the car and doing that body check enabled me to realise the parts of my body that felt really good and identify any areas that I need to breathe into and relax”

Using this same principle, she recommends using a trigger to remind you to tune in with yourself and be thankful for your health and body.

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Message me TODAY if you’re ready to learn more 🤍

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3. Feel The Feelings And Then Find The Silver Lining

It would be unrealistic, especially in this climate of fear and uncertainty to think that people should or will only experience feelings of joy and happiness. It is inevitable, that people will feel sad, stressed or anxious at some point, and often these feelings will surface all at once.

When this happens, Ange recommends sitting with these feelings and understanding them fully rather than pushing them away.

She says, “my way of dealing with emotions that aren’t joy and happiness and the ones that we label as bad is to really feel them and sit with them.”

“When I’m having a bad day and I really need to be angry about it or cry, [when I get a chance] I will either go to a bathroom and spend 5-10 minutes crying or yelling or grab hold of a pillow in my bedroom and feel the emotion to its full extent. Then when it feels like it’s gone you’ll know.”

She says, then when you feel like you are ready you can figure out what there is to be grateful for and what lessons there are to be learnt from that occurrence or event.

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Tara Mckenzie

CONTRIBUTOR

Like many of Bondi Beauty's readers, Tara has two main passions; health and beauty. As a group fitness instructor you'll either find her dripping in sweat during a HIIT class or with a full face of bronze makeup. If you meet Tara in person be prepared to act excited as she tells you all about your star sign and why you should start carrying a rose quartz around in your purse.

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