Let’s face it, 2020 and this global pandemic have been like no other year in modern history. It has impacted so many families financially, and the disease continues to ravage the world in a variety of ways.
For me, navigating all the social turmoil has been as challenging as dealing with quarantine life itself.
It can be exhausting. Overwhelming. Even disheartening.
And yet … and yet, I know whenever I shift my focus away from the chaos – not ignoring it, nothing like denial, just putting my time and energy back to gratitude for what is RIGHT in my life, rather than what is wrong, something magical happens …
My thoughts become more positive. I feel calmer, more secure. Everything smooths out around me. Gratitude isn’t just woo-woo stuff, either. Let’s talk about it.
The Science behind Gratitude
Cutting-edge research shows that focusing on the positive literally rewires our brain. Gratitude cultivates stress relief. It improves our overall health, helps us feel more satisfied, deepens our connection with ourselves and others.
Gratitude makes us more resilient for life’s challenges. Gratitude gives us strength.
Gratitude makes us more empathetic to help others.
I don’t know about you, but I want 2021 to be different for me and my family. Really different.
I did this practice years ago, but in May, I started keeping a gratitude journal again. It sits on my nightstand, and before I go to sleep, I MAKE myself write three things from that day for which I’m grateful. It cannot be the same list each day: Mark, the kids, my health.
Blah, blah, blah.
I really make myself review the day, and FEEL that appreciation inside. It’s shocking the profound effect it has had on me.
My Gratitude List
I decided to go with lucky # 7:
1. My two college kids will be home for Thanksgiving next week!
2. My daughter graduates from college in December. I’m so proud of her!
3. Mark and I have grown together during quarantine life (FYI – that’s flowery language for we’ve had some HUGE arguments, but we’ve learned to resolve conflict so much faster and get back to connection. It’s only taken us 30 years).
4. My first nonfiction book, When Life Feels Like a House Fire, has hit #1 on Amazon Hot New Releases TWICE in the past three weeks. I love that it’s helping a lot of people + makes all my insomnia during COVID worth it!
5. I’ve started Copper #3, and I’m having so much fun! I’m currently on page 105. Look for the finale to her trilogy in 2021!
6. I’ve connected more with my mom, brother and sister. We have a daily “Mason” family text going on + do regular Zooms together, as well.
7. The unexpected blessings our house fire from 2017 continues to enrich me. I never, ever could have imagined the way it transformed my life.
Whenever I need an attitude adjustment, gratitude always helps.
Need a Holiday Gift?
Would you like a signed author copy to give to someone as gift? If so, check out my nonfiction stress book, When Life Feels Like a House Fire, or either of my novels about a homeless girl who wakes up at the cemetery to discover her mama’s gone missing: Pennies from Burger Heaven (Copper Daniels #1) or Bones and Lies Between Us (Copper Daniels #2).
Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) between now and Friday, December 4, 2020 if you’re interested (no last-minute trips to the post office for me).
What are You Grateful?
I’m not playing Pollyana and denying the hardships we’re all facing these days, but if gratitude is not in your toolbox, please try it. The attitude adjustment makes a world of difference.
Which is exactly what humanity needs today … a world of difference.
What’s one thing that you’re grateful for in your life today? Please leave a comment.
Pick up your FREE pdf workbook from From When Life Feels Like a House Fire (it’s all the Do This! assessments, exercises and worksheets together from the book). Read, enjoy and share with your friends.