Every November, it feels like everyone and their 15 cats hop on the daily gratitude challenge. No? Just my friends have 15 cats? Oh, well, add that to your list of things to be grateful for, no cat stories. Anyway, the daily gratitude challenge can benefit your business in huge ways. Let me explain.
This year is my first year participating. I feel stuck in a negative space but want to avoid my normal seasonal issues. The holidays are nothing but stress and anxiety, dealing with family drama. Then there’s the Seasonal Affective Disorder from the shorter cloudy days. Finally, money becomes a hot button issue that no one wants to talk about but everyone feels.
It’s like Uncle Ben at the Thanksgiving table excitedly asking what Christmas plans are to diffuse the political shout match before seeing the entire family looked pained but no one wanted to say they couldn’t afford to buy gifts for everyone. Because kids need 50 presents each.
No one can escape outside either cause the cold has settled in, the sun sets before dinner, and no one knows what is in those woods. Something might be watching for their dinner.
‘Tis the season of daily gratitude challenges.
For years gratitude has been a tool for happiness. Long term studies support the effectiveness of gratitude. They also suggest a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.
I wonder if the bedroom is “sport” enough to also experience peak performance results?
While we acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it’s difficult to maintain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone, or lacking in our lives. That’s easy.
For gratitude to meet its full healing potential, it needs to be more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit.
That can take some time.
That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.
Remember gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach where bad things are whitewashed or ignored. It’s about where we put our focus and attention.
Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.
Of course, now I’m stuck on this bedroom performance idea. There’re many things to be grateful for, like:
- colorful Fall leaves,
- bodies strong enough to birth babies,
- friends who listen and really hear us,
- dark chocolate,
- boots and sweaters,
- ability to read this blog post,
- Pavlik harness, and
- clumsy panda videos.
What’s on your list?
6 ways you can practice gratitude.
Keep a gratitude journal.
Keep a gratitude journal where you list things you’re thankful for. You can do this daily, weekly, or monthly, but to establish a new habit, I suggest daily for at least 28 days.
Join me over on Instagram for the #gratitudechallenge to start the new habit.
Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but keeping your journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way. That’s the whole point of this anyway.
Create a gratitude collage.
Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures of the things you’re thankful for. Display the collage somewhere you can see it, like a computer wallpaper or framed next to your bed, to remind yourself to think in a grateful way.
Or you could sneak a weird trinket into the corner of a photo frame in the middle of the gallery wall and wait until someone notices to ask about it. Mine lasted a week. Clearly, I love my gallery wall most.
Make it routine to express gratitude.
This idea takes Thanksgiving and makes it a daily occurrence. Practice gratitude around the dinner table or—if the dinner table concept doesn’t work in your home either—make it part of your nighttime routine, like a prayer or bedtime with the kids.
Oh, my 7-year-old daughter was thankful for our car. Otherwise, all 4 of us would have to ride the dog to her soccer game. I bet our dog is even more happy that we ride the car instead.
Play a gratitude game.
Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation. This may irritate your more pessimistic family members like it does mine, but finding the silver lining in each situation helps you find more good things among the bad.
And if it annoys them so much, you can always say, “At least you don’t have to hear me complaining anymore!” with a big grin on your face. Challenge them to argue that.
Catch yourself before you complain.
When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. See if your initial complaint just doesn’t seem so bad anymore.
Seriously, this giant bloody wad of tissue up my nose is peanuts next to the joys of the changes in weather right now.
Notice the effects of gratitude.
Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it. Sing about it. Express thanks for your gratitude.
Daily Gratitude Challenge Summary
As you practice daily gratitude, an inner shift begins to occur. You’ll be delighted to discover how pleased and hopeful you’re feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.
Ways to practice gratitude daily:
- Gratitude journal,
- Gratitude collage,
- Establish a routine,
- Gratitude game,
- Catch yourself before complaining, and
- Notice the effects of gratitude.
Do you practice daily gratitude? I want to hear your favorite ways to maintain gratitude. Comment below. Seriously, I’m looking for ways to improve.