Salaams and Good Morning !

As we have previously discussed, a gratitude practice is key to mental and emotional wellbeing. When we are intentional about noticing things that are right and expressing gratitude for them, we actually train our brains to become more positive and optimistic.

There are however, more and less effective ways to express gratitude.

1)   If we are putting gratitude on a "to do list" for ourselves, it can lead to it becoming a burden rather than a blessing, say researchers. The idea is to begin noticing things that we are grateful for as a first step. When a daily practice of gratitude leads to us noticing more things to be grateful for, it can work really well

2)   Go for depth rather than breath. When our gratitude lists are brief and general, they may do little to lift us up. A University of Southern California study found that writing one sentence about five things we’re grateful for is less beneficial than writing five sentences about one thing we’re grateful for. When we write in greater detail about something we are grateful for, we are much more likely to feel the positive effects of gratitude.

3)   If we do not take a moment to notice the positive and express gratitude, our brains will quickly adapt to positive events and start taking them for granted. So it is important to notice and savour positive events and experiences even if they occur frequently. If you enjoy a certain tree in your backyard, for example, you will continue to enjoy it long term if you notice and savour the experience and express gratitude for it.

So take a few minutes now to reflect on the positive happenings and experiences from last year. What went right? How did it make you feel? Write them down, expressing at least a little bit of detail.

For example:

I was really grateful that my friends from work made and brought me some red lentil soup while I had the flu. I really enjoyed the fact that two of them stayed back, heated it up for me and gave me company as I drank it. They even helped clean up afterwards. (as opposed to I am grateful for my co-workers)

I am grateful that my business coach gave me specific feedback about why my book launch did not do as well as I hoped. He empathized, provided ongoing resources and helped brain storm what to do next. (as opposed to I am glad that a top-notch business coach agreed to work with me)

Please feel free to enjoy the positive feelings generated as you re-experience these feel-good events!

Wishing you a day full of positivity, purpose and peace.
Warm blessings


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