“Because it’s not depending on specific events, gratitude is long lasting and impervious to change or adversity. It requires an emotional involvement.”
“…concluded that gratitude may have the highest connection to mental health and happiness.”~The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan, emphasis added
It’s Thanksgiving week in the US, so what better topic than gratitude? We all know what a gratitude journal is. Many of you likely have one or have had one in the past. When I was intentional about gratitude, this is what I discovered.
I’m always thankful for my family, for my health, for my prosperity, for my freedom, etc. etc. These became rote and while true, this list didn’t put me in touch with myself. So …
Once I decided not to repeat the rote list, I challenged myself to find five things a day to appreciate. I wanted to be very specific. This forced me to be mindful all day to look for ways to be grateful. If I needed to remember five things by bedtime, then I needed to discover at least ten (memory begins to fade with every year).
In order to find five legitimate gratefulness contributions, I have to STAY IN THE MOMENT. Stay MINDFUL to what and who is in my life right now.
Can you name five very specificthings you are grateful for TODAY? And, again, it can’t be the obvious stuff.
Here are mine for today:
Do you see what I mean? I had to pay attention – stay mindful – all day!
In her book, The Gratitude Diaries, Ms. Kaplan suggests showing gratitude to your significant other. She recommended the following:
“…send a daily sentence-completion email to their partners with two sentences.
One thing you did lately that I appreciated was ….
One moment when I felt extra positive about you was …”
I did this with Dave. He LOVED it and he started sending me something similar. Again, though, you have to be MINDFUL and INTENTIONAL because you can’t repeat the same thing over and over again.
Here are a few of mine:
If I can’t repeat the same thing over and over, then I have to search for new ways to be grateful. Amazing! Our relationship improved overnight! I haven’t done this for him in a while and since I know he’ll edit this, here goes.
I’ve gotten out of the habit of intentionally finding ways to be grateful. I will start that again because it was very helpful – emotionally and relationally. Can you keep me accountable?
I highly recommend The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan – just look at the table of contents. She has gratitude suggestions: partners, parents, weight loss, health, career, money … every aspect of life.
Warning: my next few blogs may be more about gratitude. Next week, I’ll show gratitude for my children.
Let’s not wait until Thanksgiving to be grateful. Be grateful every day – send that attitude into the world and more will be returned to you. I promise.
I am grateful for every reader – every day!
I’d love to post your grateful list. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
In April 2012 I had a mental breakdown. The real thing. I have about 36 hours that I don’t remember....