You are invited to participate in a very simple, but very powerful challenge: the Gratitude Challenge. What does it entail? Simply vow to not complain for two whole weeks. If you are successful, you'll wake up on Thanksgiving Day feeling more joyful, grateful, and ready to share love with the people most important to you.
Here is why...
The way we verbally frame our experiences shapes our reality. Create a reality that feels good to you and those around you!
Jocko Willink, former navy seal and author of Extreme Ownership, has a trick to combatting unfavorable news: when something unfavorable happens, he says "good" and finds the solution or the silver lining. In a year with so many surprises, this sentiment has resonated with us because amongst the madness there have been so many reasons to feel grateful!
We hope you manifest joy this month by speaking with intention, kindness, and gratitude.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT:
What do psychologist really say about venting and how does the way we speak influence our reality?
- Venting might temporarily feel good, but it can actually make you feel worse in the long run. A new study suggests that verbalizing anger or frustration doesn't necessarily dissipate it, and that complaining keeps negative events in our minds for longer. It can also drag the person or people you are complaining or venting to into that same gloom, anger, or frustration you are feeling.
- The stress caused by complaining can actually damage the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with memory and adaptability. (M1 Psychology)
- Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. (Harvard Health)
Complaining can manifest in many forms: we vent about our jobs, our relationships, and the state of the world. We even complain when no one is listening - like while stuck in traffic or when the wifi fails us! Complaining doesn't make any of these things better, but brainstorming creative solutions can. When you feel inclined to complain, try to either change the situation, or, if you can't, find the silver lining and change your perception.
Complaining or venting forces us to zoom in on the nuances of our frustration. Focusing our energy on the bigger picture - all the things we are grateful for and all the ways we want to contribute positively to the world - helps us relax and releases the tension that occupies the mind. Scientists say that the best approach is to engage in constructive dialogue that actually helps resolve problems, writing about how you feel, and most importantly, taking time to practice gratitude. (Stillman, 2017)
TIPS TO FEELING EVEN BETTER DURING THE CHALLENGE:
1. Keep a gratitude journal. Recall a few moments throughout the day, even tiny moments that may seem insignificant, where you enjoyed or appreciated something.
2. Share your gratitude. When someone does something that made you feel good, let them know how much it meant to you. This will also boosts their spirits, which is a big win!
3. Nurture the friendships that you have. Good friends don't come along every day. So send a text to check in, schedule a tea date, or even write a letter! Taking time to nourish human relationships is a great way to flex your gratitude muscle!
4. Schedule an activity that gives back to your community. For example - walk a shelter dog during a free afternoon, go grocery shopping for your local food bank, or volunteer for any other cause that is close to your heart.
We are here on this earth for a short time: for all of you, we hope your life is a joyful and energetic burst of love!