3 Key Steps to Gratitude and Core Resilience

Orange tabby kitten surrenders lacking resilience

Like a character in Game of Thrones, I keep pointing out winter is coming. I was not supposed to be here for winter. I suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder, or SAD for short. Apt because that’s what the seemingly endless grey days make me — sad. However, thanks to the worldwide pandemic, I am stuck here until at least next spring. 

But I’m still grateful to be here right now.

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Gratitude Journaling for Resilience, Growth, and Happiness

An open journal with "I am grateful for" lies with a pen ready to write

Gratitude journaling is the surprisingly simple element in wellness and mental health. First, medical studies show gratitude journaling helps lower stress and improved sleep. Behavioral psychologists report increased resilience, greater happiness, and even improved interpersonal relationships. (And yes, I am grateful my husband unloads the dishwasher — and I tell him so.) It can even combat materialism and improve empathy and generosity in adolescents!

But it isn’t a miracle cure for our problems. Research with some depressed patients find it’s not for everyone. Nor is there a “one-size-fits-all” method of gratitude journaling. There’s disagreement on whether it’s better to gratitude journal daily or weekly. Professor of psychology, Sonja Lyubomirsky, found in one of her studies that counting blessings once per week increased participants’ sense of happiness. Doing daily gratitude exercises backfired. Some study participants became resentful or desensitized to the benefits.

However, for most people, developing our gratitude is core to strengthening our resilience to setbacks, hard times, and pain. You need to find the technique and frequency that work best for you. 

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Do You Always Want to Capture Your Audience Online?

Research says — Hit them with your headlines and capture your audience with your captions.  To reach your audience you need to caption your images with your key message and create compelling headlines. Because that’s all 80+% of your audience reads in your posts. So instead of blogging on my art site about “My New Art Project,” I use the headline “How to Create Prophetic, Subversive Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Art.” And I caption the photos with key information.

Miniature greyhound looking up at text: Over 80% only read the headlines...
while over 90% read the caption of an image — so create compelling headlines and put your core message in the caption.

Since the 1960’s it’s been shown repeatedly that 80% (or more) of the viewers read the headline but only 20% (or less) read the copy of a piece. And, advertising queen and Madwoman, Jane Maas, in her work reported that over 80% of people read the caption of an image even if they didn’t read the article. 

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The Biggest Mistake We Make With Our Time

Cat focused intently into fishbowl at goldfish

Most of us focus on the wrong thing(s). One of the key differences between highly successful game players and their opponents is the correct focus in training and play. The larger goal is to win a competition. Good players understand they need to focus on specific objectives that will qualify them for the tournament. Then, they can focus on what they need to win the tournament. They accept that they may lose a lot of practice games while staying focused on improving their skills. And this may include skills like reading their opponents or even identifying distractions and improving their focus.

To use our time effectively, we need to know three things:

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How To Gain Control of Your Time — And Your New Year!

young asian woman planning success with wall planner

Become of aware of how you schedule and plan your time. Are you a pen and planner person? Do you have a planner that really works for you? Are you a digital diva who lives and dies by her apps? Or do you merely try to keep it all in your head (because, like Sheldon Cooper and Wesley Crusher, you have an eidetic memory)?

How’s that working for you?

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