I disagree. Let me say that again: I DISAGREE.
I think it IS a big deal.
When I first started working with my life coach last fall, one of the first suggestions she made was that I start making a mental list of what I was grateful for every night before bed as I prepared to sleep. She told me that this subtle shift would have a huge impact on my life because it’s not possible to feel bad when you are feeling gratitude, except she said it much more eloquently. I may have inwardly rolled my eyes, because it sounded hippy-dippy to me, but darned if she wasn’t right – as she is about many things.
I also started sitting with my kids at bedtime and had them start to list a thing or two from their day that they were grateful for. It’s interesting to see how my son, who’s pretty relaxed and chill, will usually have no problem listing a few things from his day that were awesome, why my daughter, who is prone to anxiety, will jump around to the things that made her unhappy during the day, even as I encourage her focus on the parts of her day that she enjoyed. Hmmm, that seemed to be significant. Maybe there is something to this gratitude habit that can lead to more life satisfaction.
There’s research to support that gratitude and happiness are linked, and since I’m on a quest to make the next 40 weeks as awesome as possible, it’s a fantastic time for me to get back to practicing gratitude at the end of my day.
Guidelines for Gratitude
It can be hard, particularly if you’ve had a rough day, to come up with things that you feel wonderful about, that you’re truly grateful for. When I ask my kids about their day, I have a few simple prompts to help them get rolling.
- What friend were you grateful for having today?
- What food were you grateful for having today?
- What was your favourite part of today?
- What was your favourite activity today?
When I reflect on my day, I ask myself a few questions, too.
- Who was I grateful to have in my life today?
- What made me happy today?
- What situation did I get through and learn from today?
- What was the best part of my day?
- How did I love my body today?
I’m setting myself a challenge to not only practice gratitude, but also to write down what I am grateful for for the next 40 days.
Do you keep a journal or otherwise deliberately practice being grateful? Do you think gratitude is linked to happiness?
Interested in joining the 40 day gratitude challenge? Don’t be shy! Leave a comment below.