SELF-CARE: Tired of the traditional gratitude practices, here are simple tips to create your own gratitude ritual
Tomorrow North America will celebrate Thanksgiving 🙏 🙏! People will gather with loved ones around a nice meal, spend time together and reflect on what they are grateful for!
I must say I hesitated before posting on gratitude because I have felt – maybe like some of you – gratitude fatigue! Ironic for a consultant in wellbeing 🤔 and annoying (angry face) as I must submit as part of my university course an assignment on gratitude 😅.
Of course I knew about the benefits of practicing gratitude; I even experienced some of them through my sporadic daily journaling but I fell into the gratitude fatigue trap…
😒 missing some days, especially the bad ones, feeling I had nothing to be grateful for these particular days and feeling pressure to complete yet another daily obligation !!!!
😱 feeling frustrated of repeating myself and not having more diverse grateful things to share every day!
😑 feeling less joyful as the activity became a constrained routine – phenomenon called in psychology hedonic adaptation.
❓What about you, have you ever felt your gratitude practice was a constraint?
So my assignment and the associated 3-week daily gratitude journaling was both a challenge 💪 and a perfect occasion👌for me to renew with gratitude!
✔ First, the many positive outcomes that gratitude could generate are impressive…Scientific literature refers to improving feelings of positive emotion, happiness, optimism, self-esteem, relationships, wellbeing, resilience and even sleep! as well as reducing stress level, risk of depression… Through my own new assiduous practice, I definitely experience contentment, joy, serenity and feel much stronger and confident!
❓What about you, how do you feel after practicing gratitude?
✔ Second, by writing gratitude, I saw a pattern: connecting with family and friends or strangers met at the bakery are what I am the most grateful for. So 💛 RELATIONSHIPS 💛 from family dinner, deep phone conversations with a friend to supportive chats with former colleagues, are what I should cherish and continue living fully…🙏 🙏 THANKS to everyone in my life!
❓What about you, what are you most grateful for?
✔ Third, this time I took actions to avoid gratitude fatigue and customize the traditional gratitude journaling exercise to fit my life!
💡Less is more!
I now allow myself to journal when I feel like it but not less than twice a week (according to research, 1-3 times/week is more beneficial than daily 😁). I also avoid journaling in the evening after the tiring homework-bath-bedtime episode! In exchange I commit to go a little deeper and put more effort in my practice.
💡Practice in the moment
I tasted the joy of acknowledging my gratitudes when they happened! A ray of sunlight 🌞, an interesting conversation, a friendly support …I learnt to savor the good thing right here right now!
I started expressing a little deeper (poco a poco) my appreciation🙏 to people who make my life better – through messenger, in real-time or with an old-school postcard. Interestingly, I did it as a manager in the corporate world but never made it outside of work. While in fact research suggests gratitude is even more powerful when expressed – especially it strengthens relationships!
💡Practice on the bad days.
Although I find it more difficult to find things to be grateful for, I really appreciate the energy 💪 that gratitude brings me on those particular days.
❓What about you, how do you practice gratitude? Get in touch
I tried to practice with my sons but I did not succeed YET! This idea of a gratitude jar could help!
To close this post let’s wish everyone to find its own gratitude ritual and a Happy Thanksgiving!