Remember the Importance of Gratitude for the Holiday Season

November 21, 2023 Sean Gunderson

Gratitude is important. Mental health issues can significantly impact an individual's self-esteem, often leading to a cycle of negative thoughts and emotions. In such cases, incorporating gratitude practices into daily life can be a powerful tool for fostering self-esteem and promoting mental wellbeing. In my own journey, I have found gratitude to be one of the most powerful states of consciousness to cultivate. When we look at life through the lens of gratitude, even the most challenging circumstances can be reframed in a positive light.

The Importance of Gratitude in Building Self-Esteem

Gratitude encourages individuals to shift their focus from what they lack to what they have. In my own life, I tend to apply the mantra, "I am grateful for what I have instead of ungrateful for what I don't."

In the context of mental health, I've found this shift to be transformative. Rather than dwelling on perceived shortcomings or challenges, cultivating gratitude prompts me to recognize and appreciate strengths, achievements, and positive aspects of my life. 

Gratitude is important because it serves as a form of positive reinforcement for me. By acknowledging and expressing gratitude for small victories or positive moments, I can reinforce a positive self-image. This positive reinforcement can help build confidence and shift the internal narrative from self-criticism to self-compassion. 

Gratitude practices often involve expressing appreciation to others. I've found this fosters a sense of connection and support, crucial elements for individuals facing mental health challenges. Recognizing the kindness and support of others can create a network of positive relationships, providing a buffer against feelings of isolation and enhancing one's sense of belonging. 

Gratitude is also important because it encourages mindfulness and being present in the moment. I've found that by focusing on what we're grateful for in the present, we can temporarily detach from anxious thoughts about the future or regrets about the past. I've found this mindfulness can alleviate the mental burden associated with mental health issues, allowing for a more positive and centered self-perception. 

I've also found that gratitude is linked to resilience, which can be understood as the ability to bounce back from adversity. For individuals with mental health issues, building resilience is crucial. I know this well as resilience, founded in gratitude, has allowed me to confront some of the most challenging situations one could imagine. Gratitude has helped me develop a mindset that views challenges as opportunities for growth rather than insurmountable obstacles. I've found this shift in perspective can empower, fostering a sense of control over one's life and contributing to increased self-esteem. 

The Importance of Gratitude as a Driving Force in My Own Life's Journey

In my own journey, gratitude has helped me to surmount numerous obstacles. I recall times in my life when there was no certainty about my future. Indeed, some of these times were so extreme that I did not know if I would even see the light of day again. However, gratitude served and continues to serve as a transformative force in my life. Put simply, I would not be here today to share my story if it wasn't for gratitude.

Thank you for sharing my journey. I hope you are inspired to "take your vitamin G today" by finding something for which you are grateful. In today's video, I explore the importance of gratitude further. Please watch the video to learn more about how gratitude can help us retrain our thinking to find more positivity in life.

Have a great holiday season.

APA Reference
Gunderson, S. (2023, November 21). Remember the Importance of Gratitude for the Holiday Season, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Author: Sean Gunderson

Sean Gunderson (they/them) has a wealth of lived experience with mental health issues and, after publishing their thesis, "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Psychiatric Survivor: Exploring the Paradigm Shift in Mental Health," became an advocate for embracing the ongoing scientific paradigm shift in the field of mental health. Find Sean on Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn, and their site

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