Daily gratitude and mindfulness 

A photo of a sunset taken over a large body of water. In the foreground of the photo are tall, thin water plants.
Like this body of water, I too am calm. TomMarc via Pixabay

This is your daily dose of gratitude

Can you recall a moment when the weight of the world seemed to rest on your shoulders? To get a bit more specific, as a student, have you been dealing with the anxiety of a looming assignment deadline, striving to maintain a good GPA, and juggling the financial pressures of paying tuition fees and rent?   

On another note, everyone has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as it wreaked havoc across the globe, creating uncertainty about the future. Not to mention, the ongoing humanitarian crises that continually leave us questioning the state of the world. The importance of mental health has never been clearer, and we cannot lose our focus on mental wellbeing at this point in time.  

Yet, as we navigate the complexities of existence, it becomes obvious that true wellbeing encompasses more than just physical fitness. It includes mental clarity, emotional resilience, and spiritual harmony. In this pursuit, two practices stand out as indispensable tools: gratitude and mindfulness. 

Gratitude, the simple act of acknowledging and appreciating the blessings in our lives, has been revered across cultures and ages for its transformative power. In a world that often fixates on what’s lacking, cultivating gratitude shifts our focus to the present and fosters a profound sense of abundance and contentment. Some benefits of gratitude include improved physical health and enhanced psychological resilience. 

When we embrace gratitude, we reframe our perspective to recognize the good that surrounds us even when we find ourselves surrounded by challenges. Rather than focusing on setbacks, we acknowledge the lessons those setbacks offer and the strength they cultivate within us.  

Moreover, gratitude serves as a powerful antidote to the terrible effects of negativity bias – the tendency to fixate on negative experiences while overlooking the positive ones. By consciously acknowledging and savoring moments of joy, kindness, and beauty, we counteract this bias, fostering a more balanced and optimistic outlook on life. 

Coupled with gratitude, mindfulness offers deeper self-awareness and inner peace. At its core, mindfulness involves paying deliberate attention to the present moment without judgment, allowing us to cultivate a heightened sense of clarity, compassion, and acceptance. 

Incorporating mindfulness into our daily lives enables us to break free from the grips of rumination, anxiety, and worries about the future, letting us focus on the joy of the here and now. By observing our thoughts and emotions with curiosity and nonattachment, we cultivate greater resilience in the face of life’s inevitable ups and downs. 

Mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing, and body scans have been shown to have a number of physiological benefits from reducing inflammation and pain to enhancing immune function and promoting neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt and rewire itself in response to experience. 

Whether through keeping a gratitude journal, practicing mindfulness and meditation, or simply pausing to savour the present moment, these practices offer a pathway to greater vitality, fulfillment, and resilience. 

Embracing gratitude and mindfulness is not just a luxury reserved for moments of leisure but an investment in our overall wellbeing. By nurturing a deeper connection with ourselves, with others, and with the world around us, we unlock the profound potential for growth, healing, and joy that resides within each moment. 

If you require immediate urgent support related to mental health resources, you can contact the following services:  

  • 911 for an emergency  
  • 811 for health-related concerns, or go to your nearest urgent healthcare facility  
  • Campus Security: 306-585-4999  
  • Regina Mobile Crisis Services: 306-757-0127  
  • Regina Crisis Line: 306-525-5333  
  • Regina Sexual Assault Line: 306-352-0434  
  • Canada Crisis Text Line: Text” UofR” to 686868 or phone 1-800-668-6868  
  • Talk Suicide Canada: 1-833-456-4566 or talksuicide.ca  
  • For immediate assistance for Indigenous peoples across Canada: 1-855-242-3310   

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