It’s Thanksgiving today in Canada; the day you get together with friends and family and give thanks. To some it’s a day off of work, others a time to get together with family. Through the past 20 months I think we all have something to be thankful for. Traditionally, Thanksgiving was a time to enjoy your bountiful harvest and to be grateful for it. But have you ever found it challenging to think of what you are actually thankful for? Have you found it difficult to show gratitude?
Read on and I’ll share why you should.
the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
A couple years ago I started a gratitude journal. And I use the word "Gratitude" because it goes beyond than just being thankful....think of "I'm glad I was on time for work" versus "I'm grateful I was on time for work and I even took that detour through that garden" or "there were no accidents and no one got hurt". I end each day with reflection and a list of all the things I am grateful for. At first, it felt forced and I felt like I ran out of words to describe my feelings. But then something changed. I started sleeping better, waking up With energy and just felt more positive.
And here’s the reasons why. Showing gratitude does weird things to your mental state of mind. It changes the way you look at the world for the better, here are my Top 5 reasons why I showy Gratitude.
#1 Increases Happiness
When you focus on the positive, life is just better. Think of that “morning win” commercial and how if everyday was like that, life would be so much better. By focusing on the positives, you’re bound to feel better. Now I know that crap happens during your day; traffic, your boss, a customer interaction, forgetting something…but good things happen too! Someone getting you coffee, no traffic, a cleared email box, snacks in the break room, that dress you’ve been looking at goes on sale…all of those things bring happiness. And when you’re happy, your vibration is higher which is lighter and freeing.
#2 Reduces stress
When you teach yourself to let go of the little things, your nervous system automatically calms down. Here’s something that I’ve recently learned: I am not responsible for everything. When the world feels like it’s in your shoulders, take a step back a let go. You are not the only one that has to solve the problems. You don’t need to have the answers to everything. And when you show gratitude, you have to release the load; which reduces your stress.
#3 Increases Mental Health
It just happens to be Mental Health day and what better way to increase your mental health than to show your gratitude? Mental health issues have been front and centre lately and there are many reasons why. The pandemic gave us permission to say that we aren't doing so well. It allowed us to be anxious and nervous about life as a whole. Last year I had an incident that many people don't know about. I was depressed about my life and I got angry at the people around me. Which is not fair. When friends pointed it out, I was not embarrassed, but grateful that someone noticed. Don't we all want to be noticed? Feel important? Sure, cause it increases our mental health. I am grateful for the time that I spend with friends, as it isn't often and it makes me feel better. Everyone is not busy, reach out and call someone.
Here's how to set yourself up for a great journal:
You can just list all the things you are grateful for OR you can go one step further and write the reason WHY.
For example > I am grateful for bring able to climb the stairs without being out of breath, it shows me I'm getting healthier and stronger.
You try it!