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A Simple Way to Live a More Thankful Life: Start a Gratitude Journal

Gratitude Journal

Better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and increased happiness are just a few of the impressive benefits that studies have traced to the simple act of writing down the things for which we are grateful. Research shows that translating thoughts into concrete language—whether oral or written—has advantages over just thinking the thoughts: it makes us more aware of them, deepening their emotional impact.

Keeping a gratitude journal is simple because there is no one “right way” to do it. Just keep in mind these research-based tips from UC Berkeley and you’ll be on the path to reaping the greatest rewards from the process:

  • Don’t overdo it. Writing occasionally (once or twice per week) is more beneficial than daily journaling.
  • Get personal. Focusing on people to whom you are grateful has more of an impact than focusing on things for which you are grateful.
  • Go for depth over breadth. Elaborating in detail about a particular thing for which you’re grateful carries more benefits than a superficial list of many things.
  • Savor surprises. Try to record events that were unexpected or surprising, as these tend to elicit stronger levels of gratitude.

It doesn’t matter what time of day that you write, the quality of your spelling and grammar, or how pretty your journal is. The most important thing is to establish the habit of paying attention to gratitude-inspiring events.

…when will you begin?

Source: University of California at Berkeley: The Greater Good

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Why We Share

“This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring, forgiving, laughing, hugging, helping, dancing, wondering, healing, and even more loving.”   -Steve Maraboli

Point To Ponder:
Do you view your obstacles, successes, struggles and experiences as an opportunity to share and be a gift to others?

Action Item:
Continually share your life and gifts with others and view them as an act of service.

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

This weekend I had the fortunate opportunity to speak at a Christian women’s retreat called Soli Deo Gloria. It was a created and facilitated by a young woman named Jen Ferguson. Jen contacted me in February and shared her vision of the weekend, which was to highlight that life is an adventure and that sometimes God asks us to step out of our comfort zone and take risks so that we might grow and be challenged. She said plenty of other wonderful things about her plan, but outside of her first description I was not interested in additional information as her theme was right up my alley!

So, on Saturday, from 11:15 a.m to 12:15 p.m I spoke on the importance of honoring our temples. From regular exercise, eating a nutritious diet, the people we surround ourselves with and the information we read and listen to, all of these things pertain to honoring and keeping our temples healthy so we can live our best lives and ultimately be a gift to others. I also explained our iGnite philosophy and the blessings that occur from predominantly exercising outdoors and with positive, encouraging and fun women.

I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my opinions, however my favorite and most memorable moment was when questions began coming in, as having women share and open up about their experiences and struggles is like icing on the cake! Witnessing the bold and courageous act of standing up in front of others to comment, ask questions and express fears is very inspiring.

During this time, one of the women posed the following question, “What if I wasn’t feeling confident enough to exercise with a group and chose to exercise at home, alone?” I explained that exercise is very personal, and done in any fashion or environment is great; however, the bigger question is her lack of confidence and if not dealt with it will continue to show it’s ugly face and inhibit her from being her best and living her best life. Then, in the midst of our dialogue the topic of isolation arose and Jen eloquently interjected some of the most Biblical profound wisdom I’ve ever heard. She said, “Iron sharpens iron and we can sharpen one another, however when we’re in isolation we cannot be refined or strengthened. Therefore, when we share ourselves, our stories and our lives, not only do we have opportunity to sharpen someone else but we too will be sharpened in the process.”

I knew I would enjoy my speaking experience, however; I must admit that I was sharpened much more than I sharpened the women attending the retreat. Therefore, I encourage you to be iron for those around you, and guaranteed you will be sharpened in return.

Watch this week’s video and be sharpened!

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