Years ago, as I was struggling to manage my business during the great recession, I came across a little book called The Science Behind Gratitude. In his book, UC Davis Phycologist Robert Emmons describes how research shows something as simple as keeping a gratitude journal impacts our happiness.
I thought, “that seems overly simplistic”, but figured I didn’t have anything to lose. So, I started writing.
15+ years later I have filled dozens of notebooks.
Here are 2 things I have learned along the way:
1. Consistency is great, but even inconsistent writing seems to do a lot of heavy lifting too.
Admittedly, sometimes I’ll go weeks between entries, but I still get tremendous value for the work. Don’t let your inconsistency get the better of you. Get to the journal when you can. it will be recharging when you do.
2. Taking time to reflect on what I’m grateful for leads to me acknowledging the people for whom I’m grateful.
Perhaps you frequently feel gratitude towards someone, but at that moment you don’t take the time to acknowledge it. Building in gratitude time gives you the 2 minutes you need to send a text or email or mention someone on social media. The benefits of doing that are long-lived.
This holiday season, be grateful for yourself. You carry a lot, and often in a thankless way. Be your own champion by being grateful for what you do and more importantly, for who you are.