Welcome back for the latest edition of the 30-day challenge! Your response to last month’s challenge was fantastic, and I hope you’ll join me to take another step on your road to self-discovery.
If you want to get involved, just post a picture of you completing the challenge on Instagram, and tag @becker_living.
So, what’s this month’s challenge?
This month’s challenge is simple – just write down three things that you’re thankful for each day.
There are no set rules or parameters; you can keep an actual journal, or jot down ideas that come to mind on spare paper and store them all together.
You can write in the morning to start your day off with a little shot of happiness, or make some time in the evening so that you can reflect and take stock of what you’ve achieved.
There’s just one proviso. To make this worthwhile, you need to want to feel happier.
What should I write about?
Start off with the big things – that you’re alive, that you can move, and sense, and experience the rich tapestry of life. Be grateful for the body that you have – perfect in its imperfection – and for the things that sustain you every day.
Then, think about the things that are special about you; your talents, your imagination, your social calendar, your favourite band – whatever it might be.
These are just some of the things that my journal taught me to be more thankful for:
- My family and pets
- My friends and social life
- Having a place to live and sleep
- Having enough food
- Choosing my clothes
- Exploring new places
- My yoga mat and minutes of serenity
But, don’t only focus on the things that already make you happy. Think of something or someone you find challenging, and find a reason to appreciate them. You could see things from a new perspective.
And, try not to think about things as being better than other people’s. Instead, think about what your life would be without it.
How should I write about it?
Your goal is to list the thing you’re thankful for, how it makes you feel and why you’re grateful for it. Here’s an example from my journal:
“I’m grateful for my home. It makes me feel protected and welcome, and gives me a sense of place. My home is what keeps me warm and safe at night, it provides shelter for everything I own, and gives me space to unwind with the things that I love.”
Here’s some other tips that I picked up along the way:
- Avoid repeating things
- Aim for depth of thought, rather than breadth of subject matter
- Write in the way that you feel comfortable; do it freehand, or with a free app
How would keeping a gratitude journal help me?
We’ve all been there. Our relations with loved ones, work, finances and possessions all seem to be on the up, but our sense of happiness and gratitude is stuck in neutral.
We don’t give ourselves time to feel delighted, stretching ourselves so thinly that there’s no sensation left. We get preoccupied with the summit when we should be grateful for the mountain. We become busier doing than feeling.
A gratitude journal solves this conundrum, giving you scope to see the good in what’s already around you. Happiness is, to a certain extent, a learned emotion. The more you try, the more you feel.
It’s an integrative life coaching concept that’s been proven in study after study, and has been found to help people achieve:
- Improved sleep
- Strengthened immune system
- Enhanced relationships
- Increased productivity.
I can’t wait to see all your pictures! Join me at the start of June for the next 30-day challenge.