The video started out talking about feelings of rejection and how to build resilience or at least apply emotional first aid when these situations happen. His advice was to list several traits you love about yourself and then pick one in particular and write a short essay on why one of these traits is important. He talked about how important self-image is to recovering from set backs or rejections and to build this you have to not just think about it but physically do the work of writing it out.
He shared that some people only think about the good traits and why it's important but it is the act of taking the time to write it out that seems to make all the difference. Guy Winch compared it to being hungry. "Thinking about eating does not fix being hungry" it requires the physical action. For some reason our psyche is the same.
There is something about writing it out that brings closure to pain, strength to self-image, and effectiveness to gratitude. Like Guy I have people tell me all the time, "I think about what I'm grateful for but it doesn't really work." There is power in writing it out. And I have found that it needs to be spelled out fully. Gratitude lists are not effective in filling this need. The power is in taking the time to physically write out, "I am grateful for _____." Not only that, it gets an extra boost in effectiveness if you are specific and more if you can elaborate why on one or two of your gratitudes.
Our mental and emotional health is so important. We wouldn't just call it good enough to think about eating when we are hungry. We wouldn't call it good enough to just think of working out to get in shape. So why do we take the short cut and only think about what would make our lives more joyous, more full, more emotionally satisfying?
I write this blog each day in hopes it helps someone find gratitude when they are struggling. I write it because I hope it helps to start off your day on a positive note. I write it because I hope you will take the time to practice gratitude for yourself and find the strength and resilience it can provide. But those are all added benefits to why I write this blog. I write because the physical act of writing my gratitude and putting some context around it is my emotional and mental first aid. It starts my day on the right note. And by committing to you that it will be here each weekday, it holds me accountable to not skip out and just think about my needs. It holds me accountable to keeping up with my emotional and mental health.
This blog starts my day thinking about the best aspects of life and that gets expressed as gratitude. Some days those are more obvious that others. I also end my day by writing, in full sentences, at least four or five things I am grateful for about the day as well as writing what the best thing that happened that day. Why do I do this? Because it ends the day on a positive note. It gives me a resource when I have days I am struggling to go back and say, "oh I still have all these things to be grateful for."
I'm grateful to have found gratitude. I'm grateful for the bumpy adventure that led me to this path. I'm grateful to know that this blog has made a difference to some people. I'm grateful to know that, even if it hadn't, it has made a huge impact on my life. I'm grateful to practice gratitude every day both morning and night. I'm grateful to see how important it is to physically write it out and take the time to give myself that extra boost. I'm grateful for Guy Winch and his talk on emotional first aid that took this same concept and applied it to another great area of life. I'm grateful to commit to taking time today to follow his suggestion and to take it one step further and do it once for myself as a whole and once for myself specifically as a mother because I recognize the need for a boost in both aspects. I'm grateful to know that I am worth this time and I am worthy of giving myself the time space, and paper space to expand my emotional and mental first aid kit.
How do you take care of your emotional and mental health? Have you discovered other areas where going the extra step and physically acting on a thought has made all the difference?
May today remind us to take time for ourselves, not just in thought but in practice. May we share our wisdom and lessons with others to help everyone grow. And may our open ears help us learn from others in a more gentle, loving way. Have a beautiful day!