According to a Harvard Health Study, being grateful is strongly associated with greater happiness. From the study: “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
Start a Grateful Journal
During COVID I started a grateful journal. Each month I reflect on what I have achieved or am grateful for, and I try to set mini goals or overall objectives for the next month. Your entries don’t need to be extreme, you can just aim to laugh each day or drink enough water for the day. You could plan to write down one thing you’re happy about, good news, or something you’re proud of. This is your grateful journey to design!
I have a high school friend who posts on Facebook every single day something that is awesome. It could be something as big as voting or modern medicine, and something as simple as pringles or paper clips. I’m astounded that each day he finds something to write about. He is a doctor, so I don’t want to hear excuses from you that you don’t have time to do this. He finds the time EVERY DAY.
Last year, I took a lesson from him and wrote one post a day for the month of November. It was my own personal expression of thankfulness and gratefulness. Here are a few things that I found “awesome” in 2021:
Roasting pumpkin seeds, democracy, outsourcing, a reliable car, a local charity, daylight savings memes, the mom code, a blank canvas, pizza rolls, friends you make as an adult, a big empty box as a toy, curly fries, librarian humor, old computers that still work, annual reports, free at-home covid tests, pie, turkey, a good deal, home deliveries, small businesses, and a work in progress.
This year is one I won’t forget. I lost my mom, and I made a huge decision to have a surgery to change my health for the better. But I am grateful for the time I had with my mom. I am grateful for modern medicine to help me make that health decision.
So, you know what’s awesome? Being positive. Try it this November and see how it changes your mental health.