To live a healthy life with a healthy mind, a good place to start is with gratitude. Gratitude is the expression of appreciation for what one has and often requires a conscious effort to count one’s blessings. While this has been a turbulent and troublesome year for many in our community, there is always space for gratitude to focus on the positive amidst whatever life throws at us.
For young people in particular, developing a healthy mind can often be constrained in the social media saturated society we live in. One of the dangers of social media is the trap of comparison – where we constantly look at the girl or guy next door and view them as being better off. This can subsequently lead to a lack gratitude for the unique features of our own existence because it does not match up to the seemingly greener grass on the other side.
Gratitude expert, Ryan Fehr says that, “during a difficult time, gratitude is more important than ever”. Research shows that gratitude can help us cope with traumatic events, control our negative emotions, and improve our wellbeing. Like Covid-19, it is also infectious, having a positive effect on those around us.
One of the greatest examples of something to be grateful for, that everyone in our community can claim, is the beautiful environment we reside in. An environment where beaches are plentiful, 13 to be exact, and parks are in abundance, 314 in the Hibiscus & Bays area.
Perspective is a powerful tool, and in a global pandemic, where people have been confined to shoe box apartments in concrete jungles, we can appreciate the wealth of open, green space we have on hand that plays a significant role in improving mental and physical health. We have beaches to walk and run, cycle paths to ride and kilometres of ocean to swim and surf. For this, it’s important to acknowledge previous councils for their foresight and vision in ensuring that we live in a community with plenty of open space.
Furthermore, if I am to reflect on what has been of 2020 so far, what stands out is the need to be super intentional about developing healthy habits.
So, what can you be grateful for today amidst what has been a rocky ride of 2020? How can you cultivate the habit of gratitude and develop contentment with the simple things of life? It may just involve stepping away from a screen and out into the beauty of our Coastal backyard.
The grass is not necessarily greener on the other side, but wherever you choose to water it!