One Thing a Day You Are Grateful For

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This week’s Lifebulb Moment is …

‘Photograph or write down one thing a day that you are grateful for…’

grateful forSo this can be anything, big (your children, home etc) or the small things that you generally don’t notice (warm winter wellies, your first cup of tea in the morning or someone holding a door open as you struggle with a pram).

There has been lots of research into the value of gratitude and it is probably not the first time you’ve heard about doing something like this. This article by psychotherapist Amy Morin summarises the benefits nicely:

Scientifically proven benefits of gratitude that will motivate you to give thanks year round.

Or more detailed studies into gratitude can be found summarised well here:

The science of gartitude.

One of the most recognised studies (McCollough and Emmons) split people into 3 groups to write a diary of events during their day – one group weren’t told to write about either good or bad aspects, one were told to record only negative things and the final group to write about things they were grateful for. The latter showed higher levels of optimism, determination, alertness and energy. They showed less stress and better progress towards personal goals.

Other research by Emmons suggests gratitude can not only increase happiness levels but creativity and lead to improved social relationships.

All of this kind of figures when you think about it but yet knowing it and then doing something about it to change your daily behaviour is the key. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude (nice) can take some practise but I think it is well worth the effort.

There are different ways to practise the art of gratitude (future lifebulb moments will come back to this idea) but this one is a simple way to remind you to notice the great things we all have in our lives daily (becoming more mindful). You will also then have a list of 7 things that can be returned to in future as a reminder. If you find you enjoy it and it works then keep going!

If you are a visual person or just prefer a photo then take a picture each day (Instagram #lifebulbmoments to share daily) alternatively (for those more audio) you could tell someone what you are grateful for (we sometimes do this at bedtime with the littles, though normally to be honest it is following a trip out or something special, this prompted me to do it on a normal day and be grateful for the smaller things). Or finally (for ‘do-ers’ or kinaesthetic learners) you could write it down.

I suggest for this challenge just choosing one thing and whenever you want during the day, since I believe you are more likely to do it the easier it is. However lots of studies say to write down three things and at the start or end of the day (no doubt there is reasoning as to why) so whatever works for you…

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