by Angela Noel
November 23, 2017
Weird thing about gratitude: In the act of calling to mind all the good things we have in our lives, we’re actually receiving a powerful benefit. As Alex Korb Ph.D discusses in The Grateful Brain, studies have shown that calling to mind what we’re grateful for has a direct effect on depression and an indirect effect on anxiety. As we express gratitude our brains increase dopamine production, making us both feel good, and increase our activity levels–a kind of “more of that, please” response. So offering thanks for the gifts we’ve been given is also a gift to ourselves.
I’m grateful for many things in my life, but the things bringing me the most joy are often the little moments, the Awesome Nuggets, charming me into a special, receptive, even joyous state of mind. I’ve shared my lists of Awesome Nuggets before, here and here. I hope you’ll join me in sharing either a link to a post you’ve written about special people or things in your life–moments, events, things, animals–whatever. Or if you don’t have a link, just share what you’re feeling grateful for right now in the comments below.
It’ll do you good–heck, it’ll do us all good.
Thanksgiving Edition Awesome Nuggets:
- While in Alaska this past June, my mom and I went on a date. We rowed across a glacial lake together. This picture, taken on the boat when I probably should not have had my cell phone out, may be my favorite picture of her ever.
- A new co-worker hugged me for no particular reason.
- My fourteen-month-old neighbor toddled over to me and hugged me, all eight teeth showing in a wide, welcoming grin.
- My husband, who does so many little things he thinks I don’t notice but I do, has been particularly awesome. In just one example, after I broke our oven, he decided to get dinner started while I was at Jackson’s piano lesson. Unfortunately, all the planned meals for the week involved the oven–so Paul lit up the grill (even though it was snowing outside) to cook the potatoes. They tasted amazing.
- While at Ragnar, I learned I’d been offered a new job just minutes before I had to run my first leg. Paul smiled ear to ear as I accepted the offer. I tear up a little even now when I think of the pride in his eyes.
- Knowing our schedule would have to change when I started my new job, eight-year-old Jackson made a decision. Without prompting, he had backpack, shoes, and coat all ready so we could leave the house on time. “I don’t want you to be late during your first week,” he said.
- While shopping, I heard a little boy tell his mom, “Momma, I like your face.” She replied, “Kiddo, I like your face too.”
- My former boss wrote me the kindest note ever and bought me a necklace, she said, to remind me to let my light shine.
- Friend and former co-worker, Julia, walked me to my car as I left my old job for the last time. She managed to tell me the perfect story about the day we met–how she remembered with perfect clarity sitting across from me and knowing we’d be friends.
- Walking in for my last day of work I found my cube covered with pictures. My favorite is the one of a cake with a rainbow and the words, “You’re dead to us now. We hope you fail.”
- After reading my post about shelving my first novel on Clockwork Cloud’s “WiP Wednesday,” my friend, Dan, bought me Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. I have since read it and quoted it about a billion times.
- Lots of guest posts! I love writing guest posts (thank you for the opportunity, Shaun, Anneli, Steph, Lorna, and Dave) and love hosting others on my blog.
- One of my favorite posts (Co-Parenting: Confessions of a Part-Time Mom) was shared on Facebook a whole lot, resulting in the most views in a single day for me, ever. Thank you anonymous sharer!
- I found a bra I LOVE. For anyone with boobs this is a huge deal. No underwire, super soft, and supportive like a favorite aunt, this thing is amazing. And cheap! Oh man, I love this thing. Neither Target nor Warner’s is paying me to tell you this, but I have to say, if you need a bra, check this baby out.
Gratitude isn’t an annual event. It needs no holiday. Saying what we’re grateful for can be a daily event. If you see it, say it. Thanksgiving, minus the turkey and pie, can be every day if we just make it so.
Your turn: What are you grateful for? Link your Thanksgiving post below, or share your thoughts in whatever way makes you happy.