A few words before I get to the point…
Can you believe it’s almost the end of January?! How time flies! I’m wrapping up my summer holiday (the first summer break longer than a few days that I’ve had in 23 years, so it’s been greatly appreciated and treasured) and beginning to work on several exciting new projects (watch this space), whilst preparing for my final year of university studies (hooray!).
During my break, I’ve given quite a bit of thought as to how I want to proceed with my blog and my social media accounts (Instagram – my preferred medium – plus Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) this year. My method in 2016 was a bit slapdash and involved posting things when the mood struck me, resulting in a bit of a feast-or-famine approach to these platforms. In 2017, I’ve decided to be more structured in order to push myself and create a greater sense of discipline around my work, because that’s what feels right to me for me. I find it easy to get distracted so I am eager to instil a greater sense of routine and structure which will support me in both my studies and my work as a writer (and just might get me back on track with that book I’m writing at the moment!).
Each week I’ll be focusing on a specific topic related to self-development as well as mental, spiritual and physical health; I’ll write a blog post on the topic and tie that back to all the social media I post for that week. I’d love to hear your thoughts, as well as your ideas for topics you’d like me to cover – you can get in touch with me via my website at www.jeremygodwin.net.
And now – a simple way to build gratitude into your daily life
So, this week I’m starting with an old favourite: Gratitude. And I’m keeping it simple.
Gratitude can be defined as “the quality of being thankful” (thanks, Oxford English Dictionary!) and the concept of taking stock of what you do have in your life – rather than what you don’t – and being truly grateful for it is considered by many to be a fundamental part of genuine happiness. Whilst the notion has gained more and more attention over the past couple of decades, it’s not a new concept: the Ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus said, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has”, whilst the Buddha is quoted as saying, “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
There are so many different ways that you can focus on gratitude in your daily life, however I found one fantastically simple (yet powerfully effective) method recently on Instagram, which was a repost by Instagram’s account from user @zuzkam3 (www.instagram.com/zuzkam3). Zuzkam3’s beautiful idea was to write down something that made her happy or grateful every day and put it in a little bag, resulting in a virtual treasure trove of happiness and gratitude that she could look at at any time (see below for a copy of the post).
I absolutely love this idea for both its simplicity and because it’s far more tangible than doing this activity digitally (something I’ve done which, while it feels great when you do it every day, doesn’t have the same emotional resonance to it that comes from putting pen to paper), so it’s something that I’m definitely going to do starting from today.
If you have simple ways to make gratitude part of your daily routine, I’d love to hear them! Please share them in the comments section or post to one of my social media accounts (which you can find listed at www.jeremygodwin.net).
Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a fantastic, happy, productive, satisfying and gratitude-filled week!