This week, our community members in the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving. For many of us, this year will be different from than years past. With the pandemic at an all-time high, many of us are choosing to celebrate the holiday in a smaller, more low-key way. But this year, think differently and turn inward to focus on your self-gratitude practice.
Regardless of what you and your family have chosen to do, the sentiment of gratitude that many of us focus on around the Thanksgiving holiday is worth focusing on.
In the field of Psychology, unfortunately, there are no real ‘silver bullets.’ Our minds are tricky little organs, and many times, creating real, meaningful, lasting change requires work over a long period of time.
Gratitude is the closest thing we have to an exception to that rule.
A simple Google Scholar search will turn up dozens of articles showing the protective impact of gratitude. Gratitude is shown to increase happiness and life satisfaction and decrease depressive symptoms.
More specifically, the activity of writing a letter of gratitude to a specific person packs a very meaningful punch.
Given the year we’ve had, I think we can all use a little dose of Positive Psychology….but we want to put a spin on it this year. Put all the negative events behind you and focus on today’s daily gratitude lesson.
So let’s take a little time and be reflective on the past year we have had. Just 20 minutes, that’s all it takes. Close your eyes and put all the negative things behind you, and think only about the things you are grateful for. Now, more specifically, think about YOURSELF, and what you are grateful for within.
We’ve all faced incredible hardship this year in our own, unique ways.
People have lost jobs, lost family members, the political and social climate of the U.S. and the broader globe has caused rifts in families and between friends, we’ve faced uncertainty, ambiguity, fear, and change. This can make it hard to feel grateful, or even practice gratitude at all.
But this week, we encourage you to set aside just 20 minutes to recognize yourself for all you’ve gotten through.
Take 20 minutes to write a gratitude letter to yourself.
In many cases, it’s a lot easier to write a gratitude letter to other people. It is easier to share your gratitude with the people in your life, but much more difficult to practice the attitude to gratitude on yourself. We can easily point out the positive accomplishments and qualities in other people that we overlook in ourselves.
To help you with that, we’ve listed a set of prompts below to help get things started.
Read through them, schedule a 20-minute date with yourself, put on some appropriate music, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and take some time to reflect on YOU. This is YOUR mini gratitude journal. This is YOUR present moment. And YOUR time to feel gratitude and express gratitude for the good things in life in the midst of all this unknown.
- I want to thank you for…..
- You have accomplished….
- In spite of difficult circumstances, you survived…..
- Your strengths include….
- You have grown so much….
- You are an asset to everyone around you, including….
- You’re working so hard at….
- You’ve become so much more aware of….
- You have made progress at….
- You’ve managed to….
- You’ve shown others how to….
- You have used your voice by….
- You’ve been courageous….
- You have learned….
- You have persisted at…
- You continue to show up as / for….
We’re Grateful for You
If there has been one steady point for us at Peak Mind, it is this community. We’ve been through a lot together throughout this pandemic, and we’ve grown together, both in number and in resilience.
We want to thank you for the role you play in that.
It may not seem like a lot. But, we see it when you open and read our emails. We see you subscribing to and downloading our podcast. We see the work you’re doing inside our programs.
We are so grateful for people reading and supporting Peak Mind.
We’re so appreciative.
At our most reflective moments, we dream about a world where everyone takes their own mental health seriously and works to become psychologically strong. Imagine what that could look like. The suffering that would be reduced. The way people would live and thrive.
Each time you show up in this community through even the smallest of acts, you contribute to that future vision.
Our 200th Episode!
CUE THE CONFETTI! Last week we published the 200th episode of the Building Psychological Strength podcast!
In celebration of this milestone, we dove deep into 5 different skills that comprise ‘psychological strength.’