Tuesday, January 01, 2013

A New Year, Join me in Making a Gratitude List?

You wake up on New Year's morning to a blank slate (and a beautiful, pristine, snow-covered yard.) There are 365 days ahead of you and part of you wonders, how exactly will you fill them? What will you do with this precious time that lies ahead? Do you face the year with excitement and optimism? Or with indifference or even dread?

Maybe the best way to start the year -- and to keep it going strong -- is just to be grateful. No matter what your situation is, you can always make a long, long list of things that enrich your life and make you happy.  The funny thing about making such a list is that it quickly snowballs -- the more you add to your list, the more things you start to see around you that belong on the list.

Of course, it shouldn't be surprising that living in gratitude has its health benefits. Psychology Today ran a piece a few years back highlighting some of the studies that suggest the positive benefits of being grateful. Not only is it a good mood booster, but people who are grateful have been shown to sleep better and have fewer physical illness symptoms.

It stands to reason that if you are focusing your brain on things that make you happy, your mind is going to benefit, and if your mind is in a good place, your body will probably follow suit.

So in the interest of starting the year off on the right foot, I am going to make a long list of the things I'm grateful for. Actually, I'm going to see how long a list I can make. It might take me at least a day. Who knows how long it will take. I'm going to keep updating the list until I feel like I'm finished.

I don't mind sharing my list with you, but I certainly don't expect that you will be interested in reading my list. (When I finish the list I will post it.)  I am kind of interested to know if my deciding to write down my gratitude list gets you thinking about writing down your own list. If it does, and if you want to share your list with me, please do, I'd be happy to run it here in the MyStoryLives blog. If you think about it, a list of things you are grateful for tells a neat sort of story about you. So feel free to email me at claudiajricci@gmail.com.

No comments: