Ever get lost in the sad and scary that our world endlessly pumps out? It's easy to fall down the rabbit hole of pessimism and anxiety when we're exposed to so many sensationalized reasons to live in fear. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand that there are bad things out there to be wary of, but for all that bad, there is also good—and lots of it. Actually, opening up our eyes to the little or big things that make us happy and cultivating a sense of gratitude does wonders for our mental health and can help manifest more positivity into our lives.
What do you get from making a habit of saying thanks? Ohmygosh, so many warm and fuzzy benefits:
- Better health - yup, there's a connection between those who practice gratitude and those who take care of themselves both physically and mentally.
- More connections - funny to think that more people will want to support you if you're actively voicing your mad appreciation for them.
- Improved self-esteem - who woulda thought that focusing on the good in your life actually adds to a deeper understanding for yourself and who you are.
- Boosts empathy - no more feeling the need to seek revenge when being thankful creates deeper sensitivity to others in us all.
- Hello happiness - recognizing the joy in one's life will only help battle depression and the moody blues all while increasing your optimism levels.
The Gratitude Jar
Being physically and mindfully present is at the heart of our company. A key component to living in the moment is practicing gratitude. Other than the go-around-the-Thanksgiving-table thankfulness confession, there are many gratitude exercises to consider. It can be as simple as jotting down a few things you're thankful for before dozing off, or as meditative as visualizing that someone who has changed your life for the better with the Gratitude Visit. As a way to promote a more mindful 9 to 5, our Portland-based headquarters decided to try out the Gratitude Jar. Once a day we write at least one thing that we're thankful for (honesty and humor encouraged).
Admittedly, I rummaged through the jar for inspiration to write this piece. I work with too many funny folk and thought I'd find something along the lines of "thankful for whoever's responsible for restocking toilet seat covers" and, hey, that's hella honest. Instead, it turns out, that we are a bunch of sentimental saps (oh, good, it's not just me).
Being Thankful Feels So Damn Good
Here's what we find special enough to jot down:
Specifically: burritos, tacos, BACON, cashew clusters, rhubarb apple soda (TIL that such a thing exists), copious amounts of coffee, and box wine (thank you, "experts," for continuing to say wine is healthy for us).
- The Outdoors
Shout out to the sun, Pacific Northwest clouds, when there's snow on the mountain, the smell of Spring rain (this is a thing), and for living in a city that makes biking to work not only possible, but pleasant.
This here 'Gratitude Jar' is just another example of how deeply rooted the importance of 'connection' is within this company. We're thankful for our connection to the universe, genuine connection with others, real/firm/honest/whole-hearted hugs, and for the present moment.
- Friends & Fam
Normally this Thanksgiving Day go-to is a given, but the people we have in our lives, be it the family we were born into or the family that we create for ourselves, and pets (with their unconditional love) are seriously important to us.
- Each Other
I knew we all got along, but, when a third of the jar's entries have something to do with "I'm grateful for this special group of people I work with," one must think "what kind of kool-aid are they sippin' on?" OR, "wow, that sounds like a dope place to work." Perhaps it's the former and we should all be concerned about what they put into our tap kombucha, or maybe, when we have the opportunity to recognize the inspiring colleagues that we can call friends, we take it.
So, what are you grateful for today/this week/this month/this year/this life?!