I think it goes without saying that we will be so thankful to see the last of 2020.
It really has rocked most of us like nothing we have ever experienced.
Oh the stories we will tell the next generation in 20 years from now on how we lived through a pandemic.
And that is what I strive to do.
Live through this pandemic with stories to tell.
And I start with being grateful.
Think not what has gone wrong but what is good in your life.
What did go right.
Gratitude isn’t just for big moments or amazing events or milestones – although they do count. It is about the little things. The ordinary things that make up our day.
About that cup or tea or coffee that you enjoyed. The moment you remembered something special about someone. The annual greeting card received from someone you have not spoken to in years. Grateful for the time you don’t have to spend commuting to work. Grateful for some things you learned about yourself in a year so different.
Still struggling what to be grateful for?
How about internet connection so you don’t feel so alone in this world. Grateful for the food selection you can get at the grocery store – especially your favourite things that have been imported from far away places. I am so grateful to get pomegranates at this time of year because they certainly do not grow where I live. Or keep it really simple and be grateful for running hot water or that we can still buy toilet paper!
I think you get the picture.
So what does being grateful have to do with sleep?
There are studies that show that people who practice gratitude do sleep better. Several studies found that making a nightly habit of expressing gratitude resulted in better sleep.
The theory being that going to bed grateful puts you in a happier frame of mind. Might even be the pattern interrupt needed for those with busy overactive minds that won’t shut off when you go to bed.
How about testing this theory? Practice gratitude going to bed and if your busy mind starts thinking of negative thoughts or the long lists of failures and regrets, then bring it back to something that you are grateful for.
Or perhaps you might wish to create a gratitude journal or jar. When we reflect back on the year that just past, does your mind go to all the negative things that happened or all the things that went wrong. Did you forget the good things or meaningful moments in the last year?
I read a story where a woman kept a jar and every time she felt grateful, she wrote it down and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, she opened the jar and reflected back on all the great and little things that happened that year.
I like this idea. So I am going to challenge myself to do a gratitude jar for 2021. I think it will be a cool experiment. I am looking forward to the end of 2021 to reflect back on all those moments of gratitude and reflection. I will let you know how I fare doing it and what it meant to review a year of gratitude.
Anyone going to join me and me and practice gratitude or going to put this practice into place?
It is said that the more grateful you are, the more likely you are to have positive emotions, feel more joy in their life, express kindness or compassion and even sleep better.
We all could use more of this in 2021.