October 7, 2021
Expressing gratitude can help increase social connections and create feelings of warmth
Suzanne Vickers, LISW-S; Ohio State Employee Assistance Program

As we head into autumn, the days getting shorter and darker and the temperatures falling, it’s important to keep our mental health top of mind. One way to do that is by practicing gratitude. Gratitude is a way of being thankful for the people and the things we have in life. Learning how to express our gratitude to people in our lives may help to increase social connection and could bring about a feeling of warmth. Have you ever thought about keeping a gratitude journal? This is a great way to increase self-awareness and can help shift our focus from negative thoughts to what we are thankful for. You are invited to keep a daily gratitude journal and list five things you are grateful for with each entry. This is also a great way to start your mornings!  You can also set a positive intention for the day.  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evidence-based-living/201706/what-we-know-about-gratitude-and-giving-back

Positive psychology has been around for years. Martin Seligman is an author and researcher who wrote several books, including Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, Authentic Happiness and Flourish. Optimism is another way you can improve your moods and can help to positively influence your perspective in life (https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/perma-model/)

The more you know about yourself and how you interact with people can be one way to increase self-awareness and can help you develop your emotional intelligence.  Here are some skill-building ideas:

  • Replace old negative thinking patterns with more accurate positive ones
  • Focus on what could go right instead of what could go wrong
  • Be concerned with your strengths and interested in creating/building
  • Write a list of 10 things you like about yourself
  • Identify some of your past successes
  • Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”
  • Identify things you are hopeful about or feel grateful for

The Ohio State Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers departmental trainings highlighting the development of these key skills. Please contact the EAP at 800-678-6265 or via email at EAP@osumc.edu and we will be glad to set up a time to speak with you and provide this valuable information to your group. 


image credit: istockphoto.com