Description: This week we look at one strategy for improved physical and psychological health, enhanced empathy, reduced aggression, and improved sleep and esteem. Thank you for listening.
1. To read the gratitude research Tina refers to in this episode, download the PDF below:
2. Suggested apps for recording your gratitude:
App 1: Brooke's favorite, Presently
App 2: Tina's favorite, Timehop
App 3: Marriage of both, Blooming - Gratitude Journal & Motivation
3. Gratitude Journal
The Self-Care for Educators team cares about the content-accessibility for all educators. If you have trouble accessing the audio for the podcast, the transcription has been provided below.
Transcription: Hi, and welcome to episode 2 of Self-Care for Educators. I am your host, Tina Boogren, and in this episode, we're going to explore the theme of gratitude, and I'm going to offer up some strategies for you to experiment with this week. So, by now you've probably heard about the benefits of gratitude, which include things like improved, physical and psychological health, enhanced empathy, reduced aggression, as well as improved sleep and esteem. Actually a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reports that people who write about their gratitude rather than their negative or neutral life events show greater signs of emotional well-being. Okay—that's self-care. So for me, gratitude is a daily practice.
Yes. Daily gratitude makes me appreciate the good days, and it helps to pull me out of the negativity on days where I'm struggling, when I'm particularly stressed or feeling bad. Gratitude reminds me to take a step back and refocus my attention on the positive rather than ruminating on the negative. So this week, I want you to really play with gratitude.
And if you are already have a gratitude practice, maybe a kick it up a notch. So, let me give you some ideas to consider. What I want you to do is maybe try first thing in the morning record three things that you're grateful for. Make them unique. Every single day, you can do this in a journal. You can do it right in your planner, or you can even do it in a note on your phone or computer if that works better for you. Try to—when you're doing that—to think beyond the obvious. I mean, I know we're grateful for our friends, family, clean drinking water ... Really dig in to those less obvious things. Things like hazelnut flavored coffee, the smell of your shampoo, or that ratty old sweatshirt that you've had since college that you happened to be wearing while you're writing your list.
Another thing that you can consider is taking a gratitude photo each day. I do this, and what I love about it is: it helps me kind of move about the world with an eye of looking for gratitude, which changes my mindset and the cool part about this is that by doing this day after day, year after year on my Timehop app and my memories that come up, I get to see what I was grateful for on that particular day for the last, I don't know, by now I've got like five years worth of gratitude photos.
And that makes me so happy. You can share the photo on social media. I always love to do like #gratitude or you can just simply save the photos so that you have it for yourself personally. So, I've got totally random things like finding hearts on the sidewalk.
I'm grateful for the Denver skyline. I'm usually grateful for coffee, especially when I find a good coffee cup or a good mug. When I see things that are unique to the place that I happened to be in ... like when it was in Florida, I took a picture of the sign that told me to be aware of alligators. That's something that we don't have in Denver. So I just love, love, love, just taking photos of random things that I'm grateful for. So, that's another strategy.
And then another thing to consider is expressing your gratitude. You know, a good old handwritten thank you note. Oh my gosh. I love to write them and I love to receive them. A text works as well in this day and age. You know, something just to consider to purposely think through who is someone that you could reach out to, that you could thank. And the more specific you are, the better. That can be a really powerful thing to do.
Another thing you might try this week is right before you go to bed try recording what you're grateful for. It's a nice way to go to bed, right? It's a nice thing to have in your mind, rather than stress or worry or thinking ahead to your to do list for the next day. What a great way to fall asleep. Having just thought about what you were grateful for in the last, you know, 12 hours.
And then, finally, think about sharing gratitude out loud, either—you know—with your family members, the idea of sharing gratitude around the dinner table, having each person kind of share one thing that they were grateful for. Or, when you're talking with friends, sharing things you're grateful for. Sharing gratitude via emails or updates ... just so many ways that we can play with gratitude. You know, as a reminder, when we think about gratitude, that's really tapping into the top levels of Maslow's hierarchy. So, it's a really powerful tool and strategy. You know, our brain cannot hold onto negative emotions and gratitude at the same time. The gratitude's going to override those negative emotions for at least a little while. That's going to help just elevate our mood and just change our perception.
You know, it's not ... it's true it won't change everything forever, but I am telling you that if you make this a daily practice, it will truly change your life. So, I can't wait to hear ways that you are exploring gratitude or different strategies ... ways to try this week ... so that we can share with each other.
And, it's going to be mind blowing, so go get out there. Go be grateful. As always, a special thank you to Brooke for making this episode happen. As always, a huge thank you to Marzano Resources and Solution Tree for allowing me to have a pinch me job. And finally, as always, a huge thank you to the Self-Care Squad, that is truly an amazing group of bad-ass educators.