Gratitude, in 15 days.
Gratitude. An eloquent yet simple work containing an immense amount of meaning behind it. We often hear the word thrown about. Sometimes in a mindfulness blog other times in the background of the latest wall sign design trend. It evokes a response from most people. From the guilty replies of, “I know I should be grateful.” To the occasional, “What do I have to be grateful for?”
Gast Cafe. Stockholm, Sweden by Jessica Sandlin
Recently I read an article on the science behind gratitude and how it is life changing. It held the same overarching themes that a study Harvard Medical Journal published last year. Humans need to express gratitude, and it improves their life. Both articles/studies try to break down the positive effect that it has on brain chemistry, and your body. In fact, I recall seeing similar studies published while I was in
university back in 2014. They all try various ways to overcomplicate a simple thing: humans need to express thankfulness and gratitude. Why? Because it is good.
The reasoning behind it is simplistic. If you tell yourself 100 negative things in a day, how do you feel? Awful. If you recognize how many things you have to be thankful for in a day, what would that be like? Joyful, humbled, happier? All the above. The message you tell yourself everyday becomes engrained in you, wither you realize it or not.
So how do we express gratitude?
Well it isn’t as easy as signing you name – something you do by default without much thought. We have to break the cycle of negativity in our own minds and shift it to recognize all the blessings around us. The negative thoughts have basically become a habit for us, and those are hard to break, and even harder to start.
My personal plan is over the next 15 days I will write out a list of at least seven things I am grateful for that day and publish it with the pictures that made me smile. Oh, and no repeats unless it is something really out of the ordinary.
This seems like the best way to close out the year. I might keep it up with a weekly or monthly gratitude post next year, but we’ll see. Definitely don’t plan to drop it entirely.
Will you join me?