My 30 Days of Gratitude Project
Seven years ago, when I was only writing for myself, a friend told me about the 30 days of gratitude challenge. For the month of November, when we in the US celebrate Thanksgiving, the challenge is to find one thing every day for which to be grateful. Because 2015 was a rough year for me professionally, I decided that it certainly couldn’t hurt to hurl bits of gratitude into the universe, through posting on my blog.
In November, 2015, I began to cautiously share my blog posts with a greater audience - namely, my Facebook friends. Through the responses generated, those daily gratitude posts ended up giving me a courage around my writing, as well as more gratitude for those who were positively impacted by what I had to say. I felt firsthand the compounding effect of gratitude!
Of late, it seems that gratitude may be headed for the trash bin of toxic positivity. In a podcast episode from several years ago, Brené Brown implied that finding things to be grateful for was an inappropriate response to grief or depression. In her defense, (after all, she is Brené Brown) responding to someone else’s grief by urging them to deny or deflect it through gratitude, is probably not helpful and could actually be harmful.
I considered this point in my earlier blog post about toxic positivity.
Because we are all wired differently (how cool is that???), gratitude may have differing effects on our emotional wellbeing in any given moment. As someone who spent a career as an advocate, and whose self-worth is tied up in being helpful, I need to remind myself constantly that not everyone wants or appreciates my efforts in that department.
Still. This month, I’m advocating for gratitude. YMMV, but give it a try.
I found this recent blog post with some practical tips on how to do your own 30 day challenge. Maybe it’s not as close to the trash bin as I originally thought!