Expressing Gratitude

Gratitude is something we may hear a lot about but may not be feeling much of it after having a stroke. Situations where many new challenges are present may not seem like the ideal setting for being grateful! Yet gratitude is something that has a valuable influence on mindset and can be exactly what is needed.

Gratitude is defined as the expression of appreciation for what one has. It is the feeling of gratefulness and thankfulness that’s felt when we’re the recipient of kindness, gifts, or help. Expressing gratitude has been found to increase happiness – which is definitely something that would be helpful after a stroke. In addition to increasing happiness, gratitude can reduce stress, improve overall health, and improve sleep – all valuable through stroke recovery.

Our mindset plays an important role in our recovery, every day and every step of the way. A negative mindset may be consistent after a stroke because of those new challenges that are present all day, every day. Expressing gratitude shifts our mindset, so we can bring our focus to the things that bring us joy, make us feel content, or add positivity to our lives. Taking moments to add positivity to our lives will help to build strength, motivation, and stay in an optimistic mindset.

So, the next question is – How do we express gratitude?  Expressing gratitude can be done in so many ways and there are always plenty of options! One good way to begin would be to wake up and think of 3 things that you are grateful for. This could be the bed that you are sleeping in, the company that you will have that day (even if that company is over the phone!), or the fresh air that is available to you right outside the door.

Post stroke may not be a time that we are feeling a lot of gratitude, but it is also a time where there are plenty of opportunities to be grateful because there plenty of opportunities to receive help. Today, take a moment to think of something you are grateful for and perhaps even go out of your way to express some of that gratitude. You’ll be grateful that you did! 😊

Ashley Voth

Ashley is a Yoga instructor and a Stroke Survivor. She was drawn to become a yoga teacher after having the yoga practice be a valuable part of the physical and spiritual journey through stroke recovery. She helps fellow Stroke Warriors feel empowered, build inner strength, and embrace individuality in this moment.

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