If you can get a sentence down, then a paragraph, then an essay, and maybe an entire manuscript, this is the season to be grateful. While 81 percent of the public says they want to write a book, most of them never get to that point. Because it’s hard.
At a workshop I conducted recently, one of the students said she hasn’t been able to write a blog post for the last four months. I have wrestled with my critic for more than 30 years of being published, and it is still a struggle. I can relate.
So this holiday season, I’m grateful I can produce the words. Being grateful, it turns out, is a mood changer. The other day I heard Dr. Andrew Weil discuss his new book, Spontaneous Happiness, where he talked about how inner contentment can lift depression:
“I was very surprised in writing this to discover how much scientific evidence we have for the power of gratitude to improve mood. There’s two aspects to this. It’s feeling grateful and expressing it. And the good thing here, there’s nothing in the way of doing it. All you have to do is remember to do it. You know, forgiveness also has great power, but that’s tricky. There’s a whole lot in the way of being forgiving.
But there’s nothing in the way of expressing gratitude. There’s a simple exercise from positive psychology called keeping a gratitude journal. You get a little notebook, keep it by your bed; during the day, make mental notes of things you have to be grateful for, jot them down when you go to bed. Doing that for one week can cause improvement of mood for up to six months. And that’s pretty dramatic.”
In light of his words, I’m dedicating this post to telling you how grateful I am – – to you, for making this blog such a big part of my life and so satisfying. Thank you for all the comments, conversation, education and friendships born over the past 2.5 years. This blog has been more fun and more fulfilling then I ever thought possible.
Here’s to writing more, writing longer, and putting the “Happy” in Happy Holidays.
Update: Want to feel happier? Take this free online class, The Science of Happiness, which explores the roots of a happy and meaningful life. I can attest to its effect.
(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)