Sunday, August 8, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Anyone remember Mr. Liston and Thankful Thursdays? (ARWEN? TARA?) =)

Good. I do too.

Thankfulness has been on my mind recently. It seems to be an important part of people who are content, happy and well-adjusted, at least that's what I've read. Over the past few weeks I've ran across this idea in a number of places, so I decided to try it out.

One person (at the bottom, second #8) said she has a nightly ritual of gratitude that has been particularly rewarding.

Another person (#21) also encourages a thankful attitude in order to make you feel happier.

So I've been trying it out, and I'm thankful to report it works a lot better than cynical old me thought it would. I certainly wouldn't recommend it to be your only defense against particularly bad depression or anxiety, but for where I am now it's a useful little tool.

It's been a somewhat challenging little exercise for me, the pessimist, to intentionally cause my mind to focus on the positive. My mind thinks focusing on the positive is for sissies, so you can see I have my work cut out for me! At first it was rather like work, and I had to combat countering thoughts saying it was a dumb practice that would never amount to anything and certainly not ever produce the results those people claimed it would. Bah humbug. But then it got easier, and I started enjoying it and truly feeling like it wasn't something I was forcing myself to do anymore. I looked for ways to be thankful because I wanted to! And there are things to be thankful for all over the place (how ever did I miss them before?) Just call me Pollyanna!

Falling asleep has been difficult for me over the past month or so. This long, drawn-out episode with the scissors, stitches, hand surgery, MRSA infection, casts, antibiotics, more MRSA infection, more antibiotics, ER visits, toddler blood draws (twice and counting) and talking to more doctors than I ever cared to (but am very glad for their wisdom and commitment)... it's been a lot to deal with. Plus, due to Superman's work schedule I'm usually going to bed alone more often than not.

In the past it's been tough not to replay the day in my mind and hone in on what went wrong and what I should have done. I tended obsess over the poor decisions I made and the scary "what if" scenarios that quickly spiral out of control. I would combat that by staying awake doing other things until I was utterly exhausted, and then fall into bed, sure that I was too tired to lay awake for very long.

These days I am happy to report that I'm able to fall asleep much faster, just by thinking over the day and being thankful for all there is to be thankful about. Yes the old thoughts still creep in every now and then, but the ratio of positive to negative is much, MUCH healthier overall!

And hey, guess what? I'm happier!


  1. You know what they say, "a positive attitude won't solve your problems, but it'll irritate enough people to be worth the effort."

  2. Wasn't there a song? Thaaaaankful Thursday, thankful thankful Thursday, thankful Thursday, thankful thankful Thurs. Day.

  3. I actually don't remember Thankful Thursday... but I do remember the Buckeye Bonus question on the Monday morning quizzes... not really the same, but Mr. Liston was amazing!

  4. Ah, the good ol' Glad Game! Have you actually read the book Pollyanna, or do you just know the concept from popular culture? If you've never read it, I recommend it! It's actually a pretty good read. I'm one of those disgustingly optimistic people who can find something to be thankful for in almost every situation. Well, I don't know if I'm disgusting about it, but I am an optimist and I consciously try to find the good in people and situations. I have found that it's easier to be happy when I'm aware of my blessings, you know? Or, in the immortal words of Lloyd Dobler, "How hard is it to just decide to be in a good mood, and then get in a good mood!?" :-)I'm glad the conscious thankfulness is helping you sleep and feel a bit happier despite life's challenges!