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.
You probably aren’t getting enough sleep, or getting enough good sleep.
I know I wasn’t — and still struggle at times to get enough. In my twenties and early thirties, I bragged about sleeping only 5 hours a night and about the times I’d abuse my body with things like 76 hours without sleep or only 12 hours in a week.
Some times my brain rebels. It merely wraps itself in a fluffy blanket and says “I’m taking a break.” A common problem during the long, grey days of winter when my brain gets lost in the fog after only an hour or two of work. Therefore, I feel the need to get things done but lack the mental motivation or even cognitive capacity. Because one of my intentional living resolutions is not fighting my body, I no longer beat myself up or reach for the cookies and caffeine. If your mind needs a break, here are 5 ways to still accomplish something while your brain recharges.
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