October 12, 2021 3 min read
Here at Wise, we believe in the wisdom of living with the seasons, as a fundamental part of self care, personal growth and mental health. Personal care and grooming routines represent but a small fraction of these beneficial practices, but through experience we know how important and uplifting these rituals can be.
Let’s have a serious and unfiltered chat now: we are all trying to figure out ways to cope with the challenges of maintaining a balanced mental health and have our own life hacks to achieve it. And the process is most certainly not a linear one, just like the seasons. As we already know by now (check out “Starting Fall Season On The Right Foot”), autumn is prime time to focus on finessing our coping mechanisms, retrospecting on our current state of mind, and progressively letting go of toxic patterns. A good place to start can be celebrating Thanksgiving with your loved ones and giving thanks for the good times and abundance that you share with them. The reason here being, among others, that gratitude as a practice has been an integral part of many spiritual and philosophical traditions, and has also been studied and embraced by modern clinical psychology for years now.
As a matter of fact, the majority of available studies conclude a strong correlation between the feeling of gratitude and sense of well-being. So much so that some types of psychotherapies (self-compassion based therapies) have the concept of gratitude deeply embedded in their approach. And it can be quite intuitively understandable to link those two concepts together, as gratitude cultivates a positive feeling, and in parallel discards the disruptive states of scarcity/survival mode. Some studies explored the gratitude/well-being relationship through an empirical lense, using three preliminary conditions: a group of people journaling exclusively negative events and challenges; another group journaling things to which they were grateful for; a third one which was the control group who journaled neutral events) and found across the various studies conditions an overall higher performance in terms of well-being within the participants of the second group. From a more rational and scientific standpoint, neuroscience can chime in to provide some hard proof. For instance, the experience of gratitude can enable the possibility to observe more brain activity in theanterior cingulate cortex (responsible for the regulation of emotions, empathy, impulse control and so forth) as well as medial prefrontal cortex (responsible for emotional processing, decision-making, social cognition, etc.) Stimulating these areas of the brain also means there is a lot of dopamine and serotonin (neurotransmitters for happiness) that are produced and involved in the experience.
All things considered, it is safe to say that gratitude is an integral part of self care and self compassion, and there are various techniques to integrate this concept into a daily personal care routine, in both an internal and external manner. For example, one can use the potent effects of positive journaling to strengthen one’s self compassion and motivation for the day, map out the state of mind and have a better grasp of the present moment. On the flip side, offering a helping hand or an ear to listen to someone in need, complimenting, conscious and simple acts of kindness of any sort can contribute to practicing gratitude.
As you reflect upon integrating more gratitude practices in your life, Wise wants to break the ice and add the first bullet point on our gratitude list by stating this: we are grateful to be a part of the self care routine of all members of the Wise family, and we hope our products offer an opportunity for gratitude through the experience they give.
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