“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at time of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Who wants to start 2021 with more energy, better sleep and with improved relationships? I know I do.
We all know that 2020 has been a challenging year. Many people have lost their job due to COVID, know someone who has had COVID or even had it themselves. Some have not seen friends or family for nearly a year. Others have not participated in sports or hobbies.
After my divorce, I was depressed and sought help from a therapist. He gave me a daily task of writing 3 things down in the morning I was grateful for. The first day, I sat fuming staring at the notebook. I had been so angry and sad for so long, I forgot to be grateful! My old dog was curled on the floor next to me, warmed by the sun streaming in through the kitchen window. I stared at him and noticed his contentment as if I was just seeing this for the first time. His tail wagged. I wrote down: 1. the sun 2. my dog 3. the window. My first gratitude list.
The 2nd day, a neighbor baked a loaf of bread and dropped it off before breakfast. I wrote down: 1. my neighbor 2. homemade bread 3. butter. Within a few weeks, I invested in a Gratitude Journal (The 5-minute Gratitude Journal Amazon: $25.99) that had daily prompts. I began to wake up happy and stopped being so angry. I begin to ask others how THEY were doing, instead of ruminating over my misfortunes.
Research by neuro psychologist report that the brain is continually remodeling itself. This happens as you learn from your daily experiences. Whenever you repeatedly stimulate circuits in your brain, you strengthen them. If you are constantly angry, that is the neuropathways that will be strengthened. When we focus on positivity, we begin to have more resilience, better mental health and can avert long-term health issues such as alcoholism and addiction.
Set aside the next 21 days, and spend 5 minutes a day (best in the morning) writing down positive things, people, pets, or moments in your day. These are not million dollar moments, you can be grateful for a hot cup of coffee, a song or a plant.
If you would like a one page handout to make it simple to get started, email email@example.com and I will send one to you!
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