Let's face it, 2020 hasn't been a cake walk for most. From the pandemic to civil and cultural unrest in our great country, to a contentious Presidential election that has yet to conclude, this year has been, well, exhausting. Often during peak times of stress, particularly for a large population of people, looking at the bright side can be even more of a challenge.
In light of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and knowing how many families will NOT have the opportunity to gather around a table to carve a turkey and share good tidings, now might be a great time to consider beginning to keep a gratitude journal.
What is a gratitude journal?
A gratitude journal is a tool to keep track of the good things in life. It is a mind shifting, attitude altering, simple daily practice like meditation or yoga, that one can do to stay grounded, less stressed and generally positive about life.
"So often in life things that you regard as an impediment
turn out to be great good fortune."
- Ruth Bader Ginsberg
The late Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg said it so well, especially for those of us going through the motions of 2020 and trying to see the positive for every negative thing that occurs. Turns out, keeping a gratitude journal filled with quotes like this and your very own thoughts about things to look forward to or people you are grateful to have in your life can turn a frown upside down when you write it down and contemplate the positive.
How "being grateful" can change your life.
When researching for this blog post, I found that PositivePsychology.com reports there are 5 proven health benefits of gratitude that may pique your interest:
- Gratitude improves sleep and sleep is good.
- Gratitude can strengthen your physiological well-being. Yes, please.
- Gratitude can add years to your life. As a 30-something year old woman in my 40's, I can say whole heartedly that gratitude is a more cost effective strategy to staying, looking and feeling young-ish.
- Gratitude increases your energy levels which we could all use these days spending more time at home.
Gratitude increases the likelihood of physical activity.
What are you grateful for?
It is funny when you think about it, but oftentimes around the Thanksgiving holiday, asking people what they are grateful for oftentimes produces similar answers. People are usually grateful for their family, their health and their blessings. While these are absolutely valid answers to the question, "What are you grateful for?", when you keep a gratitude journal daily, you are forced to think beyond the typical answers and really challenge yourself to go deeper.
One of our favorite podcasts is Oprah's Super Soul Series. Oftentimes Oprah would invite her dear friend and one of our team's inspiring thought leaders, Maya Angelou. In this episode, Ms. Angelou discusses finding gratitude in her life and shares giggle worthy anecdotes and food for thought. Watch the video and learn from the master.