2020 will likely be remembered for the Coronavirus Pandemic, a contentious Presidential election, protests around systemic racism, economic hardship (The Pink Recession), and the mental and emotional impact from all of these. In light of these challenges, it would be understandable to be at the effect of negativity. However, the one thing you do have the ability to control is your reaction to any given event. You can choose the perspective of the “glass half full” rather than the “glass half empty”.
“How do I do that?” you may ask. Gratitude! Practice gratitude on a regular basis. Gratitude is not a permanent state. Like a muscle, it is something that needs to be built up over time, with repetition. If you want it to last longer than the typical New Year’s Resolution (85% of which are abandoned within 6 weeks), you need a structure to ensure you’re practicing gratitude on a regular basis. Don’t rely on your memory or will power to keep gratitude present in your life. This could be a family ritual where each person shares one or more things for which s/he is grateful around the dinner table (kids included!). It could also be a personal practice, whether making a list, using an app on a smartphone, journaling, etc. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
As always, I’d love to hear from you if you have questions or would like to share your experience, personal practices or recommendations! You can contact me by following this link.
Make a daily list of some things in your life for which you are grateful:
Each morning, list at least 3 things for which you are grateful. Do not repeat items for at least 3 days. (If on Monday, you list your spouse, challenge yourself to come up with unique items/people until at least Thursday.)
- Gratitude Happiness Journal
- 365 Gratitude Journal
- Grateful: A Gratitude Journal
- New Gratitude Journal
- Delight: Gratitude Diary & Positive Affirmations
- The Five-Minute Journal
- “Instant Happy Journal: 365 Days of Inspiration, Gratitude & Joy” by Karen Salmansohn
- “Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out” by Marci Shimoff
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” —Gilbert K. Chesterton