See the final results of my 30 Days of Gratitude challenge here: 30 Days of Gratitude: Final Reflections.
For the past 15 days, I’ve been writing 5 things I’m grateful for every day in hopes that it will make me happier. I figured that if I only focused on what I HAVE, compared to what I don’t, I’d be happier – and since people keep saying that writing down your goals makes you much more likely to achieve them, I figured… why not write down things I’m thankful for?
So, is it working? In a nutshell, I’d say yes. Three big things I’ve noticed about myself:
- I complain less. My roommate even confirmed this. And that’s not to say I’ve had an easy couple weeks. Plenty of difficult things happened these past 2 weeks – I’ve been working long hours and weekends to make a tight deadline, I ended a relationship with a toxic friend, and I even had a coworker lash out to me today, asking sarcastically, “Why are you here at work? Shouldn’t you be boycotting our misogynistic company?”. But instead of focusing on those things, I focused on the good things – the project with the tight deadline is very high profile, and will help my career. The toxic friend? I’m proud of myself for finally respecting myself enough to end an unhealthy relationship. The coworker? He’s not the most agreeable, but he writes good code and I can learn a lot from him. Besides, there are plenty of men at work who DO take gender equality seriously.
- When I do complain, I’m able to “catch myself” a lot faster. Before, when something made me upset, I’d launch into an hour-long rant. It was ridiculous. Now, I’m able to stop myself earlier. I might rant for 15 minutes, but I’ll stop and think, “Ok, that’s enough. Yes, it’s true that <repeat problem>. However, <insert something I’m grateful for here>.” Writing things I’m grateful for in the morning makes it easier for me to recall those things in times of stress.
- I compare myself to others less. That’s not to say I still don’t experience jealousy. But now, I can step back and say, “Sure, I’m jealous that she got that windfall – but I have things she doesn’t, like a strong relationship with someone I love.” Reminding myself of what I do have makes me covet what others have a lot less strongly. It also makes me feel more secure, that even if I never “make it”, I already have everything I need.
I’m going to continue this “gratitude experiment”, and see where it leads me. I’m very impressed by the changes already. Looking forward to checking in on day 30!