Expressing gratitude is a bit of a trend at the moment. Is it really helpful or just a current fad? According to this article on neuroscience revealing four rituals that will make you happier, expressing gratitude can drastically improve mental health (by boosting some of the neurotransmitters that are also boosted by antidepressants). It doesn’t even matter if you can’t find things to be grateful for (though I’m sure we all can, no matter how small). It’s actually the process of searching for things to be grateful for that helps.
I’ve been doing this on a daily basis for a while now, both in my handwritten journal and often verbally too (over dinner or at the end of an evening we tend to have a discussion about what we’re grateful for from that day). I also do it publicly each week on Twitter using the hashtag #mondaycheer. Mondays can be challenging days; for many people they mark the end of their ‘free time’ from the weekend and the beginning of their working week. I think it’s a good time to reflect on the things we are grateful for and the things we’re looking forward to, so that’s what I do on Twitter – and I encourage others to do similar. I usually aim for five points per week, though sometimes it’s less and sometimes it’s more.
This week my Monday Cheer includes:
- Being a member of my local gym and enjoying working out (leading to me meeting my fitness targets on my Apple Watch every day last week for the first time!)
- Finding time to read (and a great thought-provoking book – Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things)
- Having most of the weekend to myself and really appreciating the freedom of being able to do what I want when I want
- Managing to get an appointment with my incredible doctor (she’s been so helpful with treating my mental health)
- Going to a professional development workshop later today with a friend (it’s a Coaching School workshop on Dancing with Resistance)
What have you enjoyed recently? What are you grateful for? What are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter using the #mondaycheer tag, and try to integrate the process into your daily routine. It’s helped me immensely by encouraging me to appreciate the smaller things that are meaningful to my life.