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The Power of Gratitude During the Pandemic

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This is Al Waller, your host for ClearPath Radio – Your Roadmap to Health and Wealth. This year of uncertainty, change, and confusion has many of us looking for a source of strength. Joining me is Mihaela Vincze, public health expert for nonprofit Transamerica Institute here to discuss the power and health benefits of gratitude.

Al: Thanks for joining me.
Mihaela: Thank you for having me.

Al: What makes gratitude so important?
Mihaela: Gratitude is a very powerful sentiment that can help us cope with difficult times, appreciate what we have, and create a positive outlook. When we are actively grateful, we create a sense of security for ourselves that can help us feel more grounded. In this way, gratitude is a source of strength that we can rely on to improve our wellbeing which is especially important during this time.

Al: Those are some profound effects! How does gratitude benefit our health specifically?
Mihaela:  Practicing gratitude can be a valuable daily habit both for physical and mental health. For example, gratitude has been proven to improve psychological health by reducing certain emotions such as envy, resentment, or frustration, according to Psychology Today. Research has also proven that gratitude can effectively increase happiness and reduce depression.

Al: What are some other health benefits of gratitude?
Mihaela: Psychology Today also reports that those who practice gratitude have fewer aches and pains, better sleep cycles, and live longer. There is also a correlation between gratitude and healthy lifestyle choices- grateful people tend to exercise more and have regular check-ups. One more important thing to note is that gratitude can help us destress and this may give our immune system a boost.

Al: These are all very compelling reasons to start practicing gratitude more often! What are some ways we can start to be more grateful and reap these benefits?
Mihaela: One very common method is to keep a gratitude journal to document anything and everything you feel grateful for. This tool can help prioritize gratitude and make it a consistent habit or a part of our daily routine. Something I like to do is write these down on small pieces of paper and then stick them in a jar! It is great because I spend the day looking for things to write, and on my bad days, I reach into the jar and lift my spirits by reading a scrap from the past.

Al: That’s great! I should try that. Anything else? 
Mihaela: Other ways to practice gratitude include writing letters to people who you appreciate or simply spending some time outdoors, appreciating the beauty in nature. Anything that resonates with you is the perfect way to practice.

Al: Those are all great ideas. Any final thoughts you want to share with the listeners?
Mihaela: This year has introduced some new challenges to us all. That being said, we can improve our mindset and create a healthier outlook by remembering to be grateful. The next time you are feeling the pandemic blues, try to engage in a gratitude practice and watch how uplifting it can be.

Al: Thank you again for joining us, Mihaela.
Mihaela: Thank you for having me!

Al: This has been another episode of ClearPath Radio – Your Roadmap to Health & Wealth. I’m your host Al Waller – thanks for listening.

Al Waller is a long time native of the Baltimore area. He entered the field of Human Resources Management starting as an HR Generalist with PwC (Pricewaterhouse-Coopers). This marked the beginning of a 30 year career that advanced into the management level for locally and globally based corporations. His primary area of expertise has focused on but not limited to: Talent Acquisition /Retention, Employee Relations as well as Training & Development.