There is a lot of research out there about how having gratitude helps people with chronic pain. Noticing the good around you increases the serotonin in your brain and makes you feel better. You don’t need to take a pill, it doesn’t cost any money and you certainly don’t need a prescription to do this. So why don’t more people do it?
There are many things that might keep us from showing gratitude, but there are also many tools out there to help us to remember to do it. I am not a chronic pain patient, but I decided I would like to show more gratitude in the past month. It was actually way harder to do than I thought! Here are some suggestions from my experience:
- Download a gratitude app. There are plenty out there. I downloaded Gratitude: Journal, Affirmations and Vision Board. It’s free and gives you daily prompts and reminders on your phone and is super easy to use. Even with this tool, I did not express my gratitude daily. I would see the reminder and think “yeah, I need to do that” and then would forget to do it later. My suggestion: Do it right when the reminder pops up. It only takes a minute and then you don’t have to remember to do it later.
- Share your gratitudes on social media. Doing this keeps you accountable and shares the goodness with those around you! Everyone would much rather read a gratitude post than one that is complaining.
- Write it down. If you aren’t big in social media or hate typing on your phone, get a gratitude journal that you can write in each night before you go to bed. There are tons out there to choose from and they are very inexpensive. Most probably cost less than a bottle of Tylenol.
Even though there is nothing to purchase, gratitude is still part of Dr. Higgins’ 5 Simple Steps to Calm Your Pain because that’s how much he has seen in make a difference in the life of his patients. The research backs up his observations. Just this one simple thing you can do all on your own can make a big difference!