Did you know November is National Gratitude Month?
What exactly is gratitude? The dictionary defines it as the quality of being thankful, the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Because chronic illness has taken a lot of my independence and therefore has forced me to rely on other people which has made me a more appreciative person. BUT let’s be honest… it would be VERY easy for me to focus solely on the fact that my illnesses have taken from me, rather than being appreciative for those in my life who now shoulder the burden of the responsibilities I can no longer manage on my own.
If I were to focus solely on the negative aspects of my illnesses, I would easily become overwhelmed, frustrated, and likely depressed. And I know that it is not always easy to focus on the blessings that have come from my illnesses, to focus on being grateful… especially when it feels like someone is repeatedly kicking you while you are down, but did you know science proves that being grateful has several health benefits?
- Being grateful opens the door to more relationships
- Gratitude helps improve physical health
- Gratitude helps improve psychological health
- Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression
- Grateful people sleep better
- Gratitude improves self-esteem
- Gratitude improves mental strength
With so many health benefits, people who are chronically ill can’t really afford not to practice being grateful!
…but old habits die hard right? But they are a little easier and more likely to be successful when you approach them with positivity (hint hint, nudge nudge) and good accountability partners.
With National Gratitude Month approaching, I would like to challenge the chronically ill community to a challenge. A Grattitude challenge.
You have probably seen loved ones post daily regarding the things that they are thankful for during the month of November. This will be similar. But I would like for our posts to be centered around our illnesses. This is a perfect time to acknowledge the incredibly helpful people in your life, your own personal growth, etc.
November starts on Thursday of this week (in four days as of go live of this posting). The #ChronicallyIllAndThankful also starts on Thursday and runs through the end of November. The goal is to post every day of November explaining what it is that day that makes you grateful for your illness and don’t for get to use the hashtag #ChronicallyIllAndThankful!