Aaaah, Monday: the day when my most predominant emotion is “Uuuuuuuugh.”
While Mondays are generally a drag, lately I’ve been trying to focus on the positive by thinking about the things I’m thankful for — even if they’re small things. (Case in point: a fresh bag of good hazelnut coffee, which is apparently much harder to come by than I thought. Like I said, some of the things I’m thankful for a reeeeeeaaaallly small.)
Basically, there’s a frickin’ ton of research showing that taking time to express gratitude has wide ranging health benefits, including lower blood pressure, better sleep, and a stronger immune system. And, as for more immediate gains, it just plain makes you feel better. Even on rainy Monday mornings.
For me, this has usually meant making small note of the things I’m thankful for: gorgeous weather, the aforementioned hazelnut coffee, the guy who kindly gave up his seat on the bus for me when I was carrying a ton of bags (which, in DC, is a huge coup for politeness and kindness — I have a bajillion friends who spent long commutes on their feet while pregnant because no one would give up their seat, so the fact that this guy willingly sacrificed his seat just because I was carrying a ton of stuff is a seriously big deal).
That has all been incredibly helpful, and given the fairly impressive increase in my quality of life thanks to all that gratitude, I recently started feeling like I wanted to take it up a notch. And — because sometimes life is cool like this — within the span of a couple of days, two friends provided awesome examples of how to do this: they both started personal campaigns to tell others how much they appreciate them.
If that isn’t brilliant, I don’t know what is.
One of our family friends took to Facebook to rally members of her church to thank their priest, who just happens to be awesome. (When my parents lived in the same town, they went to this particular church — and if there’s anyone who perfectly embodies all that is good in humanity, it’s Father Gary.) By encouraging people to add to this compilation of thanks, she not only helped Fr. Gary, she also helped all those who expressed their gratitude.
Because I have to admit: when I know I’m doing something that will make someone else happy, it makes me really happy.
As if that weren’t enough, last night one of my grad school friends said that in honor of her 30th birthday next week, she’s sending cards and emails to friends and family to let them know how much she appreciates them. There’s a card sitting on my bookshelf right now, waiting to be opened on her birthday. When she told me what she was doing, I had to try reeeeeaaallly hard to not get verklempt — because as far as I’m concerned, it’s pretty much the most beautiful birthday celebration ever.
Both of these examples take gratitude to a new level, and I love it: by letting others know how much we appreciate them, we brighten their day considerably.
So, my Monday challenge du jour is to write a note for at least one person so I can let them know how much I appreciate them.
I know who I’m going to send my little notes to — there are two people in my office who do a ton of support work and get very little love for the fact that they work incredibly hard to make things run smoothly — and I want them to know how much I appreciate their Herculean efforts.
And, with that, I also want to thank Katie from Healthy Diva Eats for hosting Marvelous in My Monday. By hosting this little get-together, she shines a ray of light and happiness into the toughest day of the week — and that alone is immensely appreciated. 🙂
I hope everyone has as happy of a Monday as possible!