I love 30 day challenges! And I don't do them often enough. (I've mentioned them previously here)
This month, I have decided to to a 30 day gratitude challenge. It's pretty simple - for 30 days, I spend a few minutes focusing and writing on things I appreciate and for which I am grateful.
It takes only a couple of minutes every day.
For example, this morning I am grateful for:
waking up early to do a yoga class
banana-carob smoothies (I swear they taste like a decadent chocolate milkshake)
Why a gratitude challenge? Quite simply, to improve my quality of life. My mood lowers slightly this time of year, because of the cold weather and short days. For a few years, I took antidepressant medication during the winter. I know I'm not alone - many people experience a shift in their mood during winter. Sometimes, if severe. it's labeled Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Psychologically, I am in far better shape now than I was a few years ago (thanks in part to a low fat raw vegan diet). I am vulnerable to shifts in my mood, which is why during the winter I have to be extra careful to look after my physical and mental health. Maintaining a positive focus is a big part of that. This challenge is actually a segue into 30 days complaint-free, which I have set as a challenge for August.
I'm not sure what to expect after 30 days. I do notice that after I think about or write my appreciations, I feel uplifted. Even if I was already feeling happy, there's a definite shift in my mood. And somehow, life just feels easier when we're in a good mood!