The Thankfulness Experiment

2010-05-19-gratitudepicNovember is a time of year where there is more emphasis focused on thankfulness.  Thankful is defined as someone feeling or showing gratitude. So, with this in mind, and perhaps some suggesting from my therapist, I embarked on an experiment for the month of November.  I called it the Thankfulness Experiment and it was quite simple:  Every day of the month I would post to my social media sites what I was thankful for.

Now, this may sound easier than it really was.  Think of it:  Each day you are tasked with coming up with something new to be thankful for.  After the first week, it became more challenging, and by the last week of the month there were days where I was stumped.  How do I not do a double post stating that I am so thankful for coffee, I mean it is a magical brown bean that is part of my morning routine every day, what else is there to be thankful for?

This experiment forced me to reach deep, but also, to be positive.  In today’s world, we are surrounded with such negativity day in and day out, that there are days where it seems like an impossible task to be in a place where we are thankful (those were the days where I said I was thankful for things like jeans, those amazing pants that fit just right, and are just the perfect amount of soft, but with structure, that are closest to pajamas without actually being pajamas).

On the days I was stumped, I would spend an extended amount of time trying to come up with something to be thankful for.  This meant that I was dedicating a pretty decent amount of time focusing on things that were positive.  During this time I could not be negative or filled with worry, as I was focusing all my attention on positive things.  Imagine that??  What a blessing!  Being a person who suffers from disturbing intrusive thoughts, having a reprieve was a pretty incredible gift.

This little experiment also helped me to see my world through rose colored glasses.  Everything just didn’t seem as horrible, daunting, depressing or disappointing.  I was a more compassionate spouse, a more patient mother, a kinder co-worker, and a more considerate customer.  There was a lightness in my step and my demeanor.  I overall just was better.

It’s truly incredible what a small experiment can do to a person.  I was sad that the month and my experiment ended.  My life was made better by living in the positive of each day and I was going to miss that, or was I?  What is keeping me from continuing the experiment for the next couple of weeks or months.  I may not post what I am thankful for daily, but that doesn’t mean that I need to stop being thankful.

What are you thankful for?  Is it that you had only light traffic on your commute home, or perhaps you have a delightful book on tape that is making your long commute far more enjoyable.  Did your spouse go out of their way to thank you for something small and insignificant that you did and thought they didn’t notice?  Did a friend call you out of the blue and ask you how you were doing?  Or something as simple as you sorted all the socks and found their matching pairs.

Embracing positivity can change your life.  Take the challenge yourself and see how your life has been transformed.

#thankful #thankfulness #positivity #experiment #blessed #coffee #jeans #challenge #anxiety #depression #OCD #gratitude #november #thanksgiving #therapist #psychologist

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