If I had to make a guess, I would say that November is probably the most likely month in which most people think about all the things for which they are grateful. And, it’s probably no surprise that this is my guess because we have a national holiday that is dedicated to the idea of giving thanks.
I can definitely attest to the power of gratitude in my own life. I’ve kept gratitude journals, or daily lists of the top three things I am grateful for, for years. I’m sure many of you have probably done the same. I think that the coolest impact of gratitude is that I can honestly say I feel a shift mentally when I stop to focus on what is good at any particular moment, rather than the negative circumstances in front of me. Gratitude seems to direct my brain to shift attention away from things like exhaustion, frustration or other overwhelming thoughts and replace those things with hope and renewed energy.
Recently, I saw a fun You Tube video by Marie Forleo that offered a new perspective on gratitude that I have been trying out. I really like it so I wanted to share it with you.
Marie talked about a study that was done at USC with three groups of people. Group one wrote down a list of five things that they were grateful for each day. Group two wrote down just one thing that they were grateful for each day and wrote down five specific reasons for that gratitude. Group three just wrote down how much better they were at things than others. The study shares that the group that focused specifically on one thing that they were grateful for, rather than a long list, and also wrote down 5 specific reasons why they were thankful for that thing, benefited more than the other two groups on several measures related to well-being.
So, I tried it and here is one of my examples.
One thing I am grateful for: I am grateful for the Wholistic Woman Retreats (WWR) Community.
And, 5 specific reasons for my gratitude for this group are:
- WWR gives me an opportunity to get to know some really great women I may not have ever found otherwise.
- WWR helps me to keep personal growth front and center in my life, by attending a variety of interesting events that the group hosts.
- WWR provides an opportunity to be part of a fun WWR virtual book club that enhances my feeling of community and opens me up to different perspectives and insights.
- WWR allows me to be supported by a group of like-minded women who are on a similar path of self-care and self-discovery.
- As a partner coach, WWR provides me with a unique opportunity to share my coaching brand with other women on a their own life journey.
After using this technique for a bit, I found that this method of listing just one thing a day with 5 very specific reasons for the gratitude really caused me to embrace the gratitude more fully and it made the process feel less like a laundry list and more like a sincere thank you note!
So, here’s my challenge to you! Buy a pretty notepad, or create a list on your phone where you can write down just one simple thing that you are grateful for each day. Don’t overthink it! Write down the first thing that comes to your mind, it can be something small. It might be the unconditional love of your furry four legged friend, the fun adventure of shopping at Trader Joe’s instead of a traditional grocery store, or the thrill of traveling to a new city. Whatever it is, keep it simple (just one thing a day) and specific (five detailed reasons why you feel that gratitude) and see how this tweak to your regular gratitude practice could have a lasting impact on your energy and sense of joy!
I’d like to invite you to try it for a few weeks, and then let me know how it worked for you when you join me at the Wholistic Woman Retreats Annual Gratitude Brunch, on Sunday Nov. 17. You can check out our website for more details. And if you have not become of WWR member yet, please consider a 2020 membership, which will make you eligible to join us at this wonderful members only event as well as provide discounts on all other events throughout 2020. I hope to see you there and hear how this new gratitude practice might be working for you! I am grateful for each of you for reading this blog and wish you an autumnal season full of wonderful things for which to be grateful!
Today’s blog was written by WWR Partner Coach, Donna Kettell. Donna is a certified professional coach (CPC) and a master practitioner in energy leadership (ELI-MP). Her certifications were earned through The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).