I often write about the benefits of keeping a weekly gratitude journal, including the fact that it can help you through tough times and it’s a secret cure for a case of the “crankies.” But there’s also lots of evidence that writing down what you’re grateful for once a week can make you happier—and the more details you include in your gratitude journal, the better.
According to gratitude expert Robert Emmons, there’s a nice benefit to being more descriptive: you get to relive the things you’re grateful for not only when you’re writing about them—but when you reread them months and years down the road. The more details you can add, the more vivid a picture you’re creating, and that can result in a bigger boost of happiness, especially when you’re looking back and may have forgotten some of the specifics. It also helps prevent gratitude fatigue. As Emmons writes, “Go for depth over breadth. The journal is more than just a list of stuff.”
So here are three things I’m grateful for this week:
1. The strong partnership my husband and I share. We’ve been able to muddle through so many issues and projects that touch our household by working together to come up with well-reasoned solutions and balancing each other out emotionally. We’ve gotten through lots of stuff, including health challenges, educational issues, business decisions, legal and insurance resolutions, and real estate ventures. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working through an interesting situation involving real estate law. I love having discussions and brainstorming sessions, doing detailed research and ultimately coming up with strategic solutions together. We make a formidable team!
2. Living close to New York City. We moved to this area almost 8 years ago in large part to be able to partake of the city’s cultural, entertainment and culinary charms. And we have indeed taken advantage our proximity! We make it a point to head to NYC at least once or twice a week for fun and unique experiences, whether it be a meal, a performance or a learning opportunity. This week alone, we had a funky modern Asian dinner last Saturday on the Upper West Side before seeing a fun live performance by the Food Network’s Alton Brown. And on Wednesday, we got to sit in the audience at the Sirius-XM studios for a taping of the Broadway Channel’s “Seth Speaks” with Seth Rudetsky. Plus the city only gets more magical as we head into the holiday season. I heart NY!
3. A really good night’s sleep. Makes a world of difference!
Wishing you a terrific week and a grateful Thanksgiving!