We wanted to piggyback on last week’s topic of gratitude - not only because it’s a good time to think about it but because there are so many ways to practice it. The benefits of showing gratitude is not only backed by science, but we are finding more and more leaders taking the time to practice it in an intentional way. One of the simplest ways to practice is by keeping a gratitude journal.
All this requires is basically writing down a list of things you are grateful for every day. This could be done using a designated journal, notebook or piece of paper, or I even know people who have a list on the Notes app of their phone. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive, but it helps if it is something you can physically see, ideally first thing in the morning or before going to bed, because that alone will inspire a sense of gratitude.
I am often told by people that they struggle because they believe that their list needs to be a bunch of “big wins”, but even the simple things begin to add up. The important thing to focus on is to try and be specific and intentional. Therefore, some examples might be “I had a good night’s rest”, “A friend helped me in math”, or “I am wearing clean clothes”. Writing down three to five things will likely take you only a minute or two, and can have a huge impact.
Scientists are finding connections between practicing gratitude and how it improves your physical and mental health, helps your personal relationships, increases empathy and reduces aggression, helps you sleep better, and makes you happier. Furthermore, as mentioned last week, practicing gratitude even in life’s difficult moments, helps foster resilience. Essentially, writing down things you are grateful for helps you become a “glass half full” type of person.
For this week's #MakeItHappen Monday, try starting your own gratitude practice and see how it shifts your mindset. There are many things to be grateful for, and today on Veteran's Day, we have an extra day to rest, reflect and be grateful for all those who have served to help protect us. Let us know how you are practicing gratitude by emailing us at email@example.com or share your story and tag us on social.
Go make it happen, Luly & the YTeach Team
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” —Albert Einstein