Practicing gratitude

The Importance of Gratitude in Post-Acute Care Recovery

Rewiring your brain to be healthier just by practicing gratitude? Yes. It’s possible. Counting your blessings is an old adage that has lasted throughout the years due to its timeless truth. There are reciprocal blessings whenever you choose to acknowledge all that you have to be grateful for. What’s more, neuroscience proves it. 

Helping a loved one gradually regain strength after a traumatic injury and subsequent surgery takes grit. Encouraging a daily practice of gratitude is a shortcut to recovery and improved mental health. Post-acute care recovery is a delicate time when the mind and body are tested for their resiliency. Gratitude invites calm and progress in these two vital areas. 

Neuroscience Shows Link Between Gratitude and Happiness

Unfortunately, post-acute care patients are prone to increased feelings of depression and loneliness as their recovery is often in isolation from loved ones and normal routines. Thankfully, there are multiple medical care providers that follow a recovery plan. This may include physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and more. However, as wonderful as it is to receive these necessary therapy procedures, gratitude is something entirely unique. 

Having a mental or physical list of things you’re grateful for on a daily basis is shown to activate the hypothalamus, medial prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex. Since gratitude is associated with activating not one, but multiple parts of the brain at once, it’s proven to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety and increase feelings of peace and happiness. 

Switching Mindsets from Dissatisfaction to Fullness 

Adopting a gratitude mindset is the type of thinking that counteracts negative thoughts only highlighting whatever is lacking in your life. Patients who don’t practice gratitude may find themselves thinking of all the things that are bothering them about their recovery. They are facing difficulty in their mental, emotional, and physical capacities during this time. When you dwell on what’s missing and lacking in your life, there’s a tendency to fall into depression. 

On the contrary, practicing gratitude helps people embrace the fullness of their lives and all they have to appreciate right in this present moment. It is the best way to avoid the pitfall of depression and anxiety and embrace what’s going right in your life. For example, post-acute patients may want to be grateful for the help they are receiving and the micro-progress they make each day as they cooperate with their medical team and follow the care plan created just for them. Loved ones are encouraged to promote this way of thinking for patients who are sensitive to the uncomfortable recovery process they experience. 

Improved Sleep for Post-Acute Care Recovery

An attitude of gratitude has powerful side effects including improved sleep quality. Since stress is reduced, your body is better able to detach from the worries of the day and fall blissfully asleep. Deep sleep means faster recovery as your body conducts all the restoration necessary during periods of rest. 

Patients in a post-acute care setting are better able to manage the recovery process when they are receiving high-quality sleep and their thoughts are in alignment with their expectation of total recovery and regaining quality of life.

South Coast Post Acute is Southern California’s Premier post-acute Partner

Better health and healing are possible with the right professional oversight and daily nutrition. At South Coast Post Acute, we deliver the services needed to restore health, regain autonomy and reduce the occurrences of rehospitalization. 

South Coast Post Acute is here for you, at any age. Our innovative care, experienced staff, and welcoming accommodations combine to bring you the high level of care you’ve come to expect from Southern California’s leading post-acute provider. 
Contact us today for more information on how we can help on your journey back to restored health.

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