Welcome back to another week of the Millennial Minute. If you’re at work today watching the clock tick on this Thanksgiving hangover Monday and thinking about every yam, green, and sweet potato you ate, welcome to the club! One of the things I do love about holiday weeks in our industry, it usually gets pretty quiet and I can think with a semi-clear mind for a couple days. So during this season of thanks and giving, I started thinking that maybe there is an art to being thankful. There are truly habits, actions or thoughts that can lead you to being and showing thankfulness in anything! And then I thought about something I heard recently. (“Jokingly”) I was told that “your generation is never thankful for anything.” My reply, there is always something to be thankful for, even our generation!
But in all seriousness, have we somehow become “thank you” zombies, that simply respond based on habit, but not out of genuine appreciation? Maybe, but maybe not. But I do believe there are things you can do in your life to become more of a genuine, thankful, and grateful person every single day.
A few to try…
Start Writing: This can be in any form (journal, planner, everyday notebook). Writing can be a natural stress reliever and it allows you to reflect on life as it happens. I started doing this last year with an awesome daily planner someone suggested to me (Laws of Attraction, order it for 2018!!). The last pages of every month have a reflection guide, part of that are the things/people you were most thankful for. Take it a step further and commit to doing this every night, five minutes tops! Write down anything you were thankful for that day. It’s like starting a new workout regime, stick to it and it becomes a habit.
Speaking of working out (yes it’s the Holidays, see everyone in the gym Jan 2018). Working Out: Yes, working out and gratitude are connected and proven to have health benefits. University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons says “Grateful people – those who perceive gratitude as a permanent trait rather than a temporary state of mind – have an edge on the not-so-grateful when it comes to health, according to Emmons’ research on gratitude. Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular physical examinations,” Emmons tells WebMD. (And you know WedMD is like bible for health online!). Emmons also says “Thankful people who move their feet experience an overall healthier mind and body, therefore making gratitude one of the best medicines.”
Smell the Roses: Simply put, acknowledge and value the little things! Show appreciation for the smallest act of kindness and then pay it forward. Don’t believe this makes a difference? Try it yourself! Our radio cluster did a Random Act of Kindness initiative around the city or you can do it personally. I was in the drive through line at McDonald’s earlier this year, flustered because I was running late for work (but not too late that I didn’t need my McCafe ice coffee) and before I could get my card out to pay, the cashier handed me a small note and said the car in front of you paid for your drink already. The card had a breast cancer ribbon and said be thankful for the small things, pay it forward. That small thing made the biggest impact on my day and I paid for the car behind me the next day.
Volunteer: A lot of times, it really is better to give than to receive. Giving back in the form of a selfless action to help a great cause creates a sense of gratitude about your own life and increases your overall well-being. Use your talents and time for good and good will come back to you!
Spend time with loved ones: The family you don’t choose (and love anyway) and the family you do (the best friends you could ask for). There is a powerful connection between gratitude and how it effects our most loved relationships. Dr. Emmons says “It (gratitude) actually strengthens relationships and relationships are the strongest predictors of happiness and coping with stress.” Another Dr. of Psychology, Jeremy Nicholson says “Overall, gratitude has two powerful influences on positive relationship behavior. When we express gratitude to a partner, we increase the chances that they will behave well towards us in the future. When we feel gratitude, we increase the chance that we will behave well towards them. If our partner feels grateful for our good behavior as well, then a positive cycle develops.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-attraction-doctor/201109/how-gratitude-influences-loving-behavior
Tow wrap it all up, challenge yourself to be grateful and thankful for everything and person that contributes to your life. Big and small, positive and negative, professionally and personally. #ThankOutsideTheBox
Until next time, stay dope Gen Y!