I really don’t get to read magazines much, so I consider myself to be a bit of an odd duck… because I don’t mind waiting in a waiting room. That is, of course, if it is well stocked with some good magazines!
At a recent wellness check-up (I got really high marks on all my blood work and stats…. Thank you VEMMA!) I happened upon the current issue of a magazine called esperanza. The tag line was ‘hope to cope with anxiety and depression’ and I thought… not THAT sounds like a fun magazine!
As I flipped through the pages… hoping my name was not called too soon so I could have this little reading time… I was intrigued by an article written by Matthew Sloan entitled ‘Tis A Gift to Be Thankful. I really enjoyed reading it and would like to offer a little review of the article for you here. If you like what you read, you can link to the full article HERE there is more information and articles on Matt’s website: MatthewSolan.com
The article starts out by referencing the 1913 children’s novel Pollyanna, and the main character Pollyanna herself who is relentlessly or even foolishly optimistic. The article suggests that she just might have been on to something! I never realized where that reference of calling a hopeless optimist a Pollyanna came from and I love to learn the origins of terms and sayings… so the article already had me hooked! And at least I now know for certain that if I call someone a Pollyanna, I am using the reference correctly, but I digress.
The concept of this article, that practicing gratitude feeds your well-being, really hit home for me and reflected back to my own Journaling Project from the beginning of this year. During that project, I too was making it a point to write out things I was grateful for as a method of winding down at the end of my day along with setting goals for the next day. This article references various studies over the past decade that show that practicing gratitude will have an influence on a person’s overall happiness. This includes a positive influence on an individual’s moods, outlook and relationships.
IDEAS AND BEST PRACTICES
There were four suggestions offered in the article for tools to help you cultivate gratitude:
- Gratitude Journal I completely agree with this suggestion and I will admit that I have gotten out of the habit of journaling. My bad! It does make a difference and as suggested here in the testimonials in this article, it does not need to be a long and complicated exercise. Just the simple process of documenting a thing or two or more that you are grateful for on a daily basis can bring to light the positive aspects of your life. Do it on your time, morning, noon or night. Nighttime happened to work for me as I reflected on today and planned for tomorrow. Maybe first thing in the morning or another time works for you. You don’t have to put pen to paper, an electronic device might be more your speed. Can’t think of anything from today, read over so past notes or even make it a habit to recap once a week. It is all good, just find a rhythm and a method that you can commit to and keep it consistent.
- Thank You Notes What a great way to extend your gratitude to another level! Here again, work in a medium that suits you, but I would suggest that ‘pen to paper’ makes it more powerful. Think of the recipient’s point of view as well. Our sons are more likely to read a text message over a written note or piece of physical mail. An email has a 50/50 chance with them. My best friend is a total card junkie and my cousin loves a cute animated e-cards. Social media offers additional option to spread your thankfulness, gratitude and positive energy… literally around the globe. One kind thought or inspiring message could literally lead to a gazillion others on the internet.
- It’s a Wonderful Life Must admit, I don’t think I ever made it through this movie, so I probably don’t understand the power of this suggestion. I know, it is hard to believe that there is a single person that hasn’t seen this Christmas classic… I was probably watching Forrest Gump instead! Now you can say you know one. From the reference here in the article I can gleam that the premise of the story is that the main character gets a glimpse of what would happen to the people he loves if he was never born. So the article suggest that you could reflect what it would be like if a certain person was not a part of your life to help you see how they are a blessing to you. I suppose this fits into the ‘it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all’ column. Maybe I need to commit to watching that movie!
- Gratitude Wall This suggestion seemed similar to a dream or goal board idea or maybe a memory collage. Any collection of picture from special moments or events will do. Even flipping though old pictures are if you are one of those organized types or a scrap booking diva, some lovely photo book. At work I have an electronic picture frame with sort of -moments in time- when our boys were younger. It is sort of frozen in time, since the pictures are from maybe 12-years ago or more. It does memorize me and make me smile when I fire it up!
SOME SCIENCE FOR YOU
Can gratitude specifically help with depression and anxiety… seems the answer is YES! Lets take a quick look at the three major biochemical factors that are linked to the experience of gratitude and the effect they can have on you:
- DOPAMINE affect the parts of the brain that are involved pleasure, motivation and reward;
- SEROTONIN produces feelings of peacefulness and calmness; and
- OXYTOCIN plays a role in physical bonding and is associated with love.
That seems to be a win-win-win situation, so I thought would mention it!
WHAT I AM GRATEFUL FOR…
This seemed like an obvious close to this post for me. There is no doubt that I am tremendously grateful for my family, my friends, my faith and my health, but I would like to offer you a business related answer.
I am a busy person and my hope for this blog and website is that it will speak to and inspire other busy people like myself to follow their entrepreneurial spirit. There are so many stories out there from people just like you and me who have looked for, and paid big bucks for, mentoring and coaching, only to come away disappointed and more than a dollar short!
Fortunately for me, my cautious nature held me back. It often paralyzes me, but in this case, it was a good thing. I will be the first to admit that I can’t do it all… and I really don’t want to do it all by myself. And by ‘IT’ in this case, I am referring to the world of an online business and/or helping others to market their business, any business, online.
Truly I am grateful that I came across Daily Marketing Coach sooner rather than later. You can find more information about their coaching program on my Trusted Resources Page or you can Click Here to learn about a 30-day Trial Offer that is hard to beat! If you have any questions about the program or are interested in joining me there, feel free to contact me!
HOW DO YOU PRACTICE GRATITUDE?
I am grateful that you stopped by to visit my site today! Do you have a tip or helpful habit that you would like to share that relates to this topic? Please leave a comment below and help others… they and I will be grateful!
Doing More Than Just Wishing You Success… Helping You On Your Journey! ~Dawn