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Resilience Tip Sheets | Gratitude and Appreciation

Voices Tip Sheets   •   Helping Families & Communities Heal After Tragedy
Gratitude and Appreciation
“Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress.” – Melody Beattie
1) What is gratitude?
“The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return to kindness.”
– Oxford Dictionary
We all have the ability to be mindful and kind, but we must be intentional with our efforts because of the Negativity Bias that keeps us focused on the negative by default.
2) What are the key components of gratitude?
  • Affirmation of goodness
  • Recognition of the sources of goodness
3) Why is gratitude important?
  • Allows us to celebrate the present
  • Appreciation of something’s value (more aware of people, contributions, and circumstances)
  • Allows us to see the positive
  • More stress resilient
  • Strengthening social ties and self-worth
  • Rewires the brain
  • Remember more good memories
  • Give more “benefit of the doubt”
  • Emotional resonance
4) Mindset for practicing gratitude and appreciation
Stop – Look – Go (Brother David Steindl-Rast)
  • Pause
  • Notice
  • Switch your point of view
  • Share your appreciation
  • See the silver lining
  • Practice!
5) Ways to practice gratitude
  • Keep a journal
  • Pick up a hobby
  • Think about the people you’re grateful for
  • Keep a simple gratitude list
  • Write thank you notes
  • Challenge yourself to minimize or diminish criticism and complaining
6) The benefits of gratitude and appreciation
  • Reduce symptoms of depression
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve sleep
  • More participation in physical activity
  • Chronic inflammation decreases
  • Pain decreases
  • Boosted immune system
  • Reduces envy and frustration (and other toxic feelings)
  • We become calmer and more connected (endorphins/oxytocin)
  • We become more open and receptive
  • Increase long-term happiness
  • Makes us more optimistic
  • Improves romantic, familial, and work relationships

VOICES Support - Phone: 203-966-3911; Email: support [at] (Support[at]VoicesCenter[dot]org)
VOICES Mission - From 9/11 to today, Voices Center for Resilience assists communities in preparing for and recovering from tragedy, and provides long-term support and resources that promote mental health care and wellness, for victims’ families, responders and survivors.