Well, it’s that time of year again folks, The time when we reminisce about the past year, how quickly it came and went, how we have grand plans for the new year ahead and share our opinions on the effectiveness of resolutions. The gyms are about to get very overcrowded and your fridge may begin to look less like a convenience store and more like a greenhouse.
Whether you’re a “new year, new me” person, or just someone seeking continual self-improvement (regardless of the time of year), we can’t deny that setting goals to improve both ourselves and the world around us, is a great thing indeed!
If you’ve been following any self-help books, been involved in the therapy community or watched a healthy amount of TedTalks (we’re guilty of binge-watching too, it’s ok), you’ve probably heard all about gratitude and it’s effects on mental health, physical health and our communities.
Gratitude is defined as: “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Gratitude is often linked to practices such as meditation, yoga and mindfulness. It’s been studied as a remedy for depression and proven to increase, self-esteem, relationships, sleep, empathy and to reduce anger and aggression.
As humans, we often focus on the negative elements in our day or we just don’t notice many things at all, due to our high paced societal norms. It can be hard to stop and feel gratitude for something like your morning coffee, when you’re more focused on not spilling said coffee all over your new outfit as you run late to an important meeting.
So with all that being said, we still want to make room for more gratitude in 2019 and we want you along for the journey. Here are some helpful resources for cultivating a daily gratitude practice in 2019:
Follow Daily Prompts
Looking for a daily reminder to get you In the gratitude groove? How about trying your hand at daily prompts? You can find a million and one blog articles, lists, journals and apps just for this! Have a look online or go to your nearest bookstore to check out all that’s out there. We love this one: https://tinybuddha.com/gratitude-journal/
Read all About it!
There are a huge number of books out there that focus on gratitude, but one that we love is Thanks A Thousand. We love this book (and the TedTalk) because it focuses on something we perceive as so small, our daily cuppa Joe and shows us not only how much work truly goes into it, but also how inter-connected we all are and why we should be thankful for the “little” things.
Make a game of it
Try this: Before you go to bed each night, instead of counting sheep (or let's be real, scrolling through social media), begin to recite the alphabet, including something or someone you're grateful for that correlates with each letter (a,b,c,d…). not only is it a way to train your brain to find more things to be thankful for, but it’s also a great way to help you drift into dreamland.
Thank Your Farmer
Call it grace or call it thanking your farmer. Religious or otherwise, it’s important to be grateful for the stuff that keeps us going, our food! This is also a great way to get your kids started on the gratitude train.
Focus on Friends
Group chats are not just good for discussing upcoming plans or keeping up-to-date with your friend's lives, they can also be used to help foster a gratitude club. Try it out with your friends, create a group chat on Facebook where you can all express what you’re grateful for each day. Not only do you get to share your day with your friends, but you can also participate in some second-hand thankfulness for all the things you may overlook in your own life.
So how about it? Will you join us on our gratitude journey 2019 edition?