You will likely have seen ‘practice gratitude’ hailed on self-care blogs or Instagram memes as a top tip for improving mental health.
But can something as simple as listing what we’re grateful for really boost wellbeing?
One woman, Saloni Anand, says yes it can and even credits the ritual with saving her.
Tragically, last October Saloni lost her son in a premature birth and turned to writing as a coping mechanism so that she could remind herself she still had a purpose for living.
Speaking exclusively to InspoDaily, Saloni opened up about her experiences and how she survived leaving the hospital without her child in her arms.
Saloni said: “I have worked in mental health for many years and am aware about the struggles that people can face and the things they can do to promote positive mental wellbeing.
“I sadly lost my son Aari at 22.5 weeks pregnant. Through experiencing such a tragedy and the most difficult time in my life, I started to keep a gratitude journal.”
She continued: “This really helped me look for things that were positive in my life and things that I was grateful for.
“It helped during a time when it seemed like there was nothing I had to be grateful for.”
Recognising the power that gratitude had on her wellness, Saloni decided to publish her journal to help others learn about the practice and to explain the science behind doing so.
Notably, the humbling act of reflecting on what you appreciate in life is proven to benefit relationships, raise self-esteem, improve sleep, lower stress and decrease negative emotions.
Evidence also shows that spending just five minutes per day on practicing gratitude influences physical health too, with better immunity to illnesses and a decreased risk of disease.
Saloni has since published her Five-Minute Daily Gratitude Journal, which invites people to use positive self-affirmations and contemplate on their day or month while setting goals.
To honour her son Aari, a percentage of each sale is donated to Tommy’s, the largest charity in the UK carrying out research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
In the UK, 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in one of these outcomes and yet medical professionals are often left baffled with no one able to tell parents why it happened.
Despite these devastatingly common statistics, there is little help offered to people affected by baby loss and Saloni hopes that by sharing her story she can make people feel less alone.
While she strives to offer an olive branch of support to those who have experienced loss, her journal is open to anyone and everyone who needs a pick-me-up.
Saloni added: “The journal is designed so that you put the date in every time you use it, there is no pressure of having to fill it in every day, and so people are more likely to use it.
“Ultimately, I want to make people feel positive, grateful, appreciative and boost their self-esteem.”
Going forward, Saloni also plans to release an edition for teens as she believes it is vital to start wellbeing education while young and incorporate positive thinking into everyday conversation.
To get started, click here: Five-Minute Daily Gratitude Journal.
If you have been affected by the issues in this article, click here: The Miscarriage Association.