Thank you for joining us on this journey to self care and deep connection!
Every week, we’ll ask a new question and let our own answers flow to us. You can use
the prompts at any level of engagement – from just asking/speaking the question out
loud to doing all of the activities described in this email, and even creating other
activities that are sparked by the question!
This week, we are focusing on giving ourselves time to think and seeing what might happen if we spend some time just sitting and thinking. According to some studies, "some people are so uncomfortable being alone with their thoughts, they would choose to give themselves mild electric shocks rather than just sit and think. The complete study confirmed that most
people would rather do almost anything else than think alone and quietly."
That’s rather shocking, don’t you think? [Sorry, I couldn’t resist!]
But what if we focus on the good stuff while we sit and think? What happens in our brains
if we sit and think about all the things for which we are grateful? What if we mentally thank the person (or place or animal or situation) that helped us have the positive experience for which we are grateful? For instance, I feel deep gratitude to Nature for the beauty, lessons, and adventures Nature brings me. So I think of those things and say thank you with my head and my heart.
According to many studies, this simple act changes my brain in ways that benefit me greatly.
For instance, "The effects of gratitude, when practiced daily can be almost the same as
medications. It produces a feeling of long-lasting happiness and contentment, the physiological basis of which lies at the neurotransmitter level.....By consciously practicing gratitude everyday, we can help these neural pathways to strengthen themselves and ultimately create a permanent grateful and positive nature within ourselves." According to the same article, gratitude can reduce pain, reduce anxiety and depression, and increase happiness.
What If? Self Care Series
For this week’s practice, read the question on the picture above out loud and see how it makes you feel.
What do you feel in your body when you ask it? Where in your body do you feel it?
Take a moment to write down any thoughts/feelings you get when you read the question out loud.
To go deeper, read out loud one or all of these follow-up questions and write down your
thoughts/reactions (try not to audit your response – just write whatever comes up; it doesn’t have to make sense):
1. The first thing that comes to mind when I think about things for which I'm grateful is....
2. Sometimes, I prefer to have a topic in mind when I sit and think. My favorite things to
3. Sometimes, it's easier to think if I am......... (walking, doodling, in nature,....).
4. My favorite place (and/or time?) to sit and think is....
To add connection (choose one or both):
1. Invite someone to sit and think about things with you - silently together (maybe back to
back or just sitting near each other). See how it feels to be together in shared thoughtful
contemplation (either about one topic or whatever you each choose). If you choose to, check in at the end to discuss your experiences and any ideas that may have come up.
2. Invite someone to be your gratitude buddy. Make a plan to share your thoughts about
things for which you are grateful: How often will you connect? How will you connect? etc...
3. Reach out to someone and invite them to discuss the picture and question. Share any of
your answers to the questions. Listen deeply to each other’s responses.
ARTICLES ABOUT THINKING AND GRATITUDE:
Reach out to Jennifer with any questions or comments or to share your thoughts on today’s practice. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Visit the Cards and Stories Playlist on Jenn’s Nature Nudges YouTube channel to see the video for this week’s card!
Do you want the full What If? Self Care Series for journaling and self-reflection?
Here’s the link: https://bookme.name/whatifwellness/what-if-self-care-se
About Jennifer Sutton: Jennifer has her M.B.A., is a Certified Infinite Possibilities Trainer, Transformational Journeys Guide, Founder of Trust Life seminars, business owner, and Shoshin Ryu martial arts teacher whose mission is to help people clear fear and pain so they can find and live in their joy on a consistent, daily basis. Jennifer supports individuals and groups using EFT tapping, brain training, and laughter to release physical and emotional pain and self-judgement allowing them to move toward a place of peace and self-confidence.
Jennifer's website: http://whatifwellness.net/about/