Who ever thought that we could get the practice of the over used BUZZ word gratitude wrong.
According to Marie –
“When it comes to gratitude, the dividends are in the details”
Meaning that most of us just think about what we are grateful for and don’t get specific enough.
Also, just thinking about what we are grateful for doesn’t work – we must write down how thankful we are for the maximum value of our thoughtful efforts.
It’s got something really cool to do with how our grey matter works but I’m not even going to try and explain that… I want you to stick with me a little longer, not click away.
So, without boring you too much with the details, the studies show that when we pick one person or thing to be grateful for every day and write five specific sentences about it we become more elated, excited and improve our emotional health.
The study group that generalised gratitude remained more tired, lethargic and sad.
Examples of generalised gratefulness:-
I’m grateful for the love of my husband Doug
I’m grateful I still have my Mum with me
I’m grateful to live in a community I adore
I’m grateful my kids are happy and healthy
I’m grateful for my returning health
It’s easy to rattle of five things that you are grateful for. But it’s not very specific or insightful is it? You could write this down in a minute without much thought at all!
Then you could give yourself a big pat on the back for being so darn grateful, smile smugly as you close the cover on your gratitude journal, turn off the light, snuggle up and dream of endless vibrant rainbows and dancing unicorns.
Sure, that happens… right?
There lies the problem. That’s why we are not feeling the shifts in our emotional health. We are not really investing in our gratitude by getting specific and as a result we are experiencing something Marie calls Gratitude Fatigue.
We need to read between the lines of our own words and reveal what is lying within them… what gives them strength… what makes them important… why we value those statements.
For without assigning them meaning and value they are but fleeting surface thoughts with little significance or real impact on our psyche.
Example of specific gratefulness:-
I’m grateful for the love of my husband Doug because –
1. He is so calm and patient with me
2. His resilience is infectious
3. He can find humour in any situation
4. He is a great listener
5. When he holds my hand I feel so loved and cherished every.single.time.
See the difference? I actually smiled and cried while I was writing those sentences. So much more emotionally and mentally invested in the gratitude.
Now I’m not sure that I can be that disciplined to do this every day. Although for the greatest value of the exercise the studies show it should be an every day practice.
So I’ve decided to, at the very least, give this a whirl every Sunday here on the blog… with a twist!
You see I’m a great believer in the idea that we can gain just as much emotional strength for our soul by gaining acknowledgement and validation of our hidden truths… the things that SUCK big time… The negative things we may be yearning to air but don’t because we fear judgement of not being positive enough. You know… what we’d really like to say when someone asks us how we are but we say “Good thanks” instead.
Now I’m not about to get all ranty but there is too much stigma around talking about not being okay. Sure we pick and choose who we open up to and so we should. We don’t want to be told “Suck it up princess” when what we really need is just someone to listen and say “Yeah, that’s gotta suck. I’m hearing you”.
In my book finding that someone you can just bla to without judgement is just as powerful as someone helping you find the silver lining of things.
So each Sunday I am going to share one “Suckable” statement and one “Grateful” statement and then write five sentences about each one.
Life is all about duality and I believe you must honour that dualism for some kind of soulful balance and nourishment.
You can join in via the comments if you like?
I’m going to call it
“Sunday Suckables and Silver Linings”
But wait… there is more!
I am so over the word grateful and the word positive that every time I hear them I want to stick my finger down my throat and throw up… loudly. So I will be using the statement “I am appreciative for” instead of “I am grateful for”.
Works for me!
I think I’ve rattled on enough for one day. So I will bid you farewell.
I look forward to sharing with you next Sunday.
Please feel free to share a suckable or silver lined statement below in the comments and write a few sentences about them. No judgements here people.
How would you spell Suckable/Suckible?