This post is inspired by a friend who recommends (strongly) that we should all keep a gratitude journal. Something to remind us every day of the things we should be thankful for. I’ve always found this sort of warm fuzzy idea a bit naff. “Hippies” do stuff like this, not strong, focussed professional women like me. That may indeed be so, but that would be my loss.
As a natural sceptic I asked Google to explain the rationale and provide some reputable suggestion of evidence that the idea has validity.
Google sent me to a very helpful article on the University of California, Berkeley’s website. [Side note: My sceptical mind was impressed by this source of support. Doesn’t get more reputable than Berkeley.] This article describes how this simple idea can, provided you undertake the exercise with certain principles in mind, make you both a happier and healthier person. I summarise these principles as:
- #1 intent. You should be motivated to be a happier person. Seems pretty darned obvious, right? I put this at number 1 to emphasize the power of the self belief.
- #2 don’t overdo it. Greater benefits are observed when you do this once or twice a week, not when you enter something everyday. We adapt quickly to ideas (technically you could call this habituation) and so by overdoing it, you will weaken the power of the exercise – “It’s easy to get numb to the regular sources of goodness in our lives.”
- #3 quality, not quantity, is important. It is more beneficial to elaborate in detail about one thing that you are grateful for rather than to superficially detail a list of things.
Keeping a journal is effective because “writing helps to organize thoughts, facilitate integration, and helps you accept your own experiences and put them in context”…”In essence, it allows you to see the meaning of events going on around you and create meaning in your own life.”
Basically, it’s a no-brainier that this is a good idea. So, here goes.
I am grateful for the support of my friends.
These wonderful people are not a silver, but rather a gold lining on life’s clouds. Some I’ve known a long time, others only a couple of years. Some I know really well and others I don’t know that well.
What they all have in common is that I think they “get” what it means to be a friend.
- They are generous with their time and their effort. They offer up their time and energy to support things that are important to me – whatever they are.
- They put their reputation on the line by publicly displaying their support for me and my ventures. Believe me, I know that each and every Facebook “Like” is a gift.
- Some of these gorgeous people even do things they really don’t want to do, to help me.
THANK YOU. I am unreservedly grateful for their support.