I admit it: I can’t top my 2012 Thanksgiving post.
Reading it today, I was struck by how grateful I felt just to be alive. And please don’t get me wrong — I still am! Insignificant as I may be, I still regard my very existence as a miracle.
And yet … sometimes, as I sit in traffic or wait in line at the grocery store, I forget. Daily routines have a way of doing that; of making life seem routine and making us take even the extraordinary things for granted. Things like walking and seeing and being alive.
As I pondered my many blessings this morning, I stumbled across an explanation:
We adapt to positive events quickly, especially if we constantly focus on them. … It seems counterintuitive, but it is how the mind works.”
In other words, “it’s easy to get numb to the regular sources of goodness in our lives.”
Fortunately, there’s an antidote — a way to keep our sense of wonder and gratitude for the blessings in our lives. And it’s simple: All you have to do is occasionally write them down.
Studies have traced a range of impressive benefits to the simple act of writing down the things for which we’re grateful — benefits including better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and more happiness among adults and kids alike.
So, today I will make the first entry in my gratitude journal. And a year from now — if I continue to be lucky and blessed — I will give you a full report.
Want to give it a try, too? The Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley can help you get started.
I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving.