CAN GRATITUDE MAKE YOU MIDLIFE HAPPY?
APPRECIATION IS LIKE AN INSURANCE POLICY - IT HAS BE BE RENEWED NOW AND THEN.... DAVE MCINTYRE...
I can sometimes be a miserable old trout. The list of potential grumpy causing issues are long and varied - it could be my commuter train is 10 minutes late (again - I mean why should it be on time when I ONLY pay £4,500 a year), my left hand is aching a bit (potential early onset osteoarthritis - more on this another time), I forgot to get the chicken out of the freezer for tea so now I'll need to either shop on the way home or pay for a takeaway for four (two of which eat like leeches that have been on a juice detox) or maybe I'm just grumpy/miserable/stressed/irritable/slightly angry because... well just because....
Back in April on a quick flit to New York I was in my favourite bookstore in the whole world - Barnes and Noble (I dropped that in because it makes me sound exotic whereas I could have just said I was in a book store on a cold Saturday morning because all the clothes shops hadn't opened yet which is also true!). Their sections on self-help and menopause were VAST, I mean like an entire Waterstones vast and my eyes tried to focus on the titles - all promising me a better life, a healthier life and all with a smaller arse to boot (or boo-tayyyy...)....
An armful of publications later and an 80 dollar spend at the till, I spotted a little book sat near the exit and it was one of those impulse purchases - only $5 - but I shoved it in to my handbag, promising myself it would be the first thing I looked at on the plane home in a couple of days time.
So here we are in July... some 3 months or so later and the little book has passed from my hand luggage to my handbag, to my dresser to my bed side table. Still mostly untouched until today but always nagging in the back of my mind that I need to take time and look at it.
It's a teeny tiny gratitude journal. Packed full of pages of quotes next to empty pages to verbally vomit your inner most feelings on. It asks you to write down 'Why I'm grateful today'. So I've taken the plunge. I've christened my journal.
My life isn't bad at all. I have a wonderful life. I need to be less 'woe is me' and more 'wow look at me'!
So are these feelings all caused by hormonal imbalances and can't be helped or can we help ourselves a little more too? I'm taking HRT and I'm feeling amazing most of the time compared to six months ago but I do notice I can drag myself down in to the miseries quickly if I don't keep a check on my mood and the triggers.
Writing down how grateful you are is not going to help people who do have a genuine chemical imbalance or hormone issues etc and are depressed but let’s face it, the majority of us are fortunate that that isn’t the case.
So from today, I'm going to journal - studies show an impressive list of benefits from writing things down we are grateful for - including better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, a boost in immune system, optimism and all over happiness and generosity. I'm not going to do it every day but I am aiming to write a couple of lines 3 or 4 times a week or whenever I'm feeling low.
What are you grateful for?
#FF # FeelingFlush