Guest Contribution by Dr. Joti Samra
Gratitude – also known as thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation – involves acknowledging a benefit one has or will receive or experience.
Over the past decade, there has been increasing recognition of the importance gratitude has on our psychological and physical state of being. Individuals who actively engage in practices of gratitude feel better about their lives overall, are more optimistic about the future, get more restful sleep, and experience better overall health.
I encourage you to actively incorporate gratitude into your daily life for just one week, and observe the impact this has. Personally, I like to start my morning with a thought of gratitude, before my day even gets started. I express thanks for something or someone I have in my life, whether it’s my comfortable bed, my shower with running hot water, my good health, a close friend, or my twin niece and nephew.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the things we don’t have (most of us go through life doing “upward comparison,” which is comparing ourselves to people who have more of what we want or desire — but it is very humbling to do some “downward comparison,” to articulate and express appreciation for things you have in your life that others don’t have). It’s amazing what a shift in perspective this small exercise can create for your day.
Reminder: UBC staff and faculty who are enrolled in UBC’s extended benefits plan have $1,200 coverage per year to see a Registered Psychologist. Staff and Faculty also have access to UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program.
This article is adapted in part from an article Dr. Samra was interviewed in for City Life Magazine (http://www.citylifemagazine.ca/success_story/robert-herjavec-10-people-who-will-change-your-life/15476).
Dr. Joti Samra, R.Psych., is a clinical psychologist and organizational and media consultant. She is the host of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Million Dollar Neighbourhood” and was the psychological consultant to CITY-TV’s “The Bachelor Canada”. She has also served as a psychological consultant and expert to a number of other TV shows and news outlets. Dr. Samra maintains a clinical practice in Vancouver. Her website is www.drjotisamra.com and she can be followed @drjotisamra.