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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

January 17th Challenge: Thankful Thursday

Got Gratitude?
Being thankful is a logical step towards an "increase in general life satisfaction and contentment" (read: happiness).  Studies find that people who kept a gratitude journal a few weeks, noting three things per day that they were thankful for, had significant improvement in happiness levels (and symptoms of illness!) over a control group.  Interestingly, the effect appeared to increase over time, even after participants stopped keeping the journal.  Other studies have shown positive benefits for relationships, decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms, and improved sleep.  Some of these involved writing just five lines a week. 

More recent research had participants relate how they were involved in the grateful event they described.     Examples: 
"My triglyceride levels are down; I have been exercising more regularly."  
"I'm thankful for the good time I had with my friend/I am thoughtful to my friend".    
"The sunset was lovely/I took time out to appreciate it." 
grateful to have adventuresome friends and that i said yes
 Adding in the factor of personal agency greatly enhanced the reported sense of well-being. 

As in several of the previous challenges, this one takes little time and can easily be incorporated into your regular daily life.  Whether you do or not, just for today:
Write down what you are grateful for, big or small, about your day, and what if anything you had to do with it.  Or choose one of the deeper challenges mentioned in this article in the New York Times about the many benefits of cultivating thankfulness.

grateful rosie let me try her camera
In other news, I am happy to report that despite some unexpected obstacles on Wednesday, I only had to turn my bracelet 6 times.  That's about as good as I get.    See yesterday's challenge if that makes no sense.  Going complaint free is a good habit to try for many days in a row.  Visit complaintfreeworld.org for inspiration.

Quote of the day: 
 I am grateful for what I am and have.
My thanksgiving is perpetual...
O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches.
No run on my bank can drain it

for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.
                   Henry David Thoreau

1 comment:

Kiesa said...

Thankful for three things? Hmmm.....hey I think all the blog comments probably are on facebook now. I sort of miss the blog comments here. I'm thankful for this blog; it cheers me up and is a tiny bit of fluffy comfort some days, and a soft light. Another thing? I'm thankful that the car accident this week wasn't worse. The car can be fixed, and maybe my mistakes can be mended, and it's all a journey, after all. And both my grownup children called to thank me for being a good momma last week, before the car accident, just because they were feeling beloved and wanted to give it back. So I'm thankful for my children today.