“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude vs stress
Hello, people, it’s your girl Judith here.
Last week I introduced you to Jenifer, that I may refer to as Jen, who never suspected that the level of stress in her life could cause physical in on her body. But these last months, stress had become a normal component of her reality.
A few years back, Jenifer was a joyful, passionate, and hard working woman. But down the road, she took on herself a lot of stress and didn’t make sure to find some activities that would help her channel out the bad stuff and therefore keep some balance in her life.
As a consequence, her blood pressure has taken a considerable toll on the health status of Jen. She is now on medication for the following:
- Sleep apnea
- Increased weight
- High blood pressure
- Pills to ease the starting ulcer
- …and some more.
Too much of this unhandled stress caused the overall health of Jen to be rated as poor. As wesaw in last’s weekarticle, Jenifer has decided in order not to finish like her father who died of Hypertension, to take a full year, No stress.
For the next twelve months, Jen would prioritize her activities whether at home, at work, with the family or even with friends, the most important criteria to be used to select the activities to do would be those activities that caused her stress, would simply be removed from her to-do-list.
Jenifer wants to stay alive, happy, and free of stress and its consequences on her health.
For this for the first month, Jenifer has chosen to start with gratitude, because she has noticed that whenever she makes time to list the good things happening in her life and simply being grateful for it. , she felt happy, and the night she did this before sleeping, she was able to easily fall asleep without the need for sleeping pills she usually takes to be ready to fall asleep.
I want to take some time here to go in much more details of what Jane is doing.
30 minutes gratitude daily
So each day, Jenifer has set apart 30 minutes for her 30 days gratitude challenge.
During this time, these are the activities Jen would be doing in the 30 minutes:
- List three to five things she is grateful for
- Then she will write each of these down making sure she is specific enough about why she is thankful for each item, chain least five to seven things that have happened to the previous day or during that very day.
- In positive psychology, it is crucial to be specific /detailed about the activity, the process or the behavior for which we are grateful for
- This is because knowing exactly what we are thankful for; it is much easier for us to repeat the good action
In positive psychology, this is one of the points that are important to take into consideration to be clear about why because being clear about why allows us to repeat the behavior.
This is also why in general in positive psychology, it is encouraged to be specific when appreciating kids or when appreciating employees because when they know clearly the behavior that causes them to receive appreciations, they can more easily reproduce that behavior.
So in her challenge, Jennifer takes time to list the things – events – activities – for which she is grateful for then she clearly states why she is grateful for that specific event or thing that happened to her.
Another outstanding thing Jenifer does in her gratitude time is that for each item on her list, she will rethink about that positive activity.
Taking time to re-live that positive experience will also bring with him positive emotions.
The positives emotions will continue to create joy and peace in the heart of Jen, and as a consequence, will reduce the level of stress in the life of Jenifer.
So far in the 30 days challenge, Jen has been able to go seven days without the need for pills to sleep. Her blood pressure has not changed much, still very high.; but to see that gratitude could help her go a full 30 days without pills. Even if just for this advantage, the 30 days gratitude is all worth it.
Any advice helping Jenifer to continue in her journey and ultimately reclaim back her health?
Intesrested in taking a plunge into gratitude like Jenifer?
Check this practice from the Greater Good science center: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/three-good-things
I absolutely love it because:
- It is easy to do
- It takes only about 10 minutes to complete
- But it can transform your day, your relationships at home at work
- …Can even heal
If you doubt what this practice is that can achieve all of these, check the link below:https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/three-good-things
Please feel free to comment, to give your pieces of advice or simply encourage Jenifer in her 30-day gratitude challenge or even the overall journey of one-year-no-stress, please do, and your inputs will be highly appreciated.
Take care, and be good.
With much love,