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Mixing Gratitude and "I am" Statements for Mental Health Awareness Week

To mark the first day of Mental Health awareness week 2024, our Founder Paul Howarth shares his most favoured rituals from his own mental health tool kit.

 

Reflecting on the challenges of maintaining mental health throughout my life, I have found two practices particularly beneficial: gratitude and "I am" statements.


The Power of Gratitude

Gratitude is about appreciating the positives in life. When we are struggling, it is easy to default to negativity. Instead try focusing on the abundance of good things in life that can significantly boost our mental well-being. Positive thoughts are energising, whereas negative thoughts can be draining.


My gratitude often revolves around the natural world, music, the people I have met, loved ones, my dog, and even simple necessities like warmth, food, water, and the air we breathe. It is more than just saying "thank you"—it is about feeling a deep, profound appreciation and sitting with that feeling for a while.

 

“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” — Rumi

 

The Impact of "I am" Statements

"I am" statements boost my sense of self-worth and self-esteem and help lift my spirits. They are especially useful in combating the negative thoughts that dominate my mind, during stressful times when I feel down. Here are a few examples I use:


Step 1: Formulate the "I am" Statement

  1. When I feel down, I say, "I am happy"

  2. When I feel unloved, I say, "I am lovable"

  3. When I feel inadequate, I say, "I am amazing"

Step 2: Combine with Gratitude

  1. "Thank you, I am happy"

  2. "I am lovable, and I appreciate that"

  3. "I am grateful to know I am amazing"

Step 3: Add in Your Feelings

  1. "I am happy, I feel that warm smile all over - thank you"

  2. "I am lovable, I feel that tender hug all over - I appreciate that"

  3. "I am amazing, I feel more than good enough - I am so grateful for that"


Feel free to play around with these statements. Make sure they are overwhelmingly positive, add intensifiers, and connect your feelings with the added intensity.

You may also choose to directly thank your god, the universe, or whatever you believe in.


I encourage you to research these two topics, it is fascinating how it works.

Based on my personal experience avoid saying things such as “I am feeling down today” that is like programming yourself to have a bad day. Remember, subscribing to negative thinking is not compulsory—we can unsubscribe at any time!


Keep practising

These small seeds of positivity need regular nurturing to grow and flourish into substantial changes in our mental health. Keep at it and watch this simple practice improve your emotional wellbeing.

 

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." —Buddha





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