What Are You Grateful For?
When I think about Thanksgiving, I remember lying on my living room carpet with my closest friends, the onset of a food coma swift and debilitating after having one too many plates of mashed sweet potato. I remember laughing about everything and nothing, planning for weeks in advance what dessert I would make. Thankfulness felt easy in times like those — but isn’t that always the case? Gratitude is easy in times of abundance.
This year, Thanksgiving may look different for you. It certainly will for me. There will be no shoes littering the entryway of my home, no making room on the potluck table for my best friend's mom's mushroom soup. The advent of the holiday season punctuates a trying year, one where gratefulness has ebbed and flowed out of my grasp on more than one occasion.
I don’t know you. I don’t know your life circumstances. Perhaps even thinking about gratitude in a year such as this seems disingenuous, like playing at positivity when all you feel and see is the opposite. I want to offer a challenge in the form of three prompts: an invitation to take 5 minutes of your day to explore.
A person I am most grateful for
A challenge I am most grateful for
A memory I am most grateful for
The practice of Gratitude Journaling is exactly that — a practice. One that, when mindfully done, can lower stress, boost self-esteem, and help you sleep better (1). Give it a try, and you might be surprised by what comes up; if nothing else, a commitment to your own mindfulness is one of the things that you can add to the list.
1. Morin, Amy. “7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude.” Psychology Today, 3 Apr. 2015, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude.