Begin Your Day With Gratitude

I spent yesterday afternoon recording episodes for my upcoming podcast. This is a whole new endeavor for me with a lot of learning experiences. Iā€™m super excited for what is to come!!

Good Morning folks!!

I’m coming off of a very busy day yesterday. I began with my normal morning routine. Wake up at 4:20 am, go directly to the fridge and grab a can of Celsius, go to the kitchen table and write in my journal. After that was done, I put on my running clothes and shoes and head out on a 5k morning run (3.11 miles). After my run, I fed some calves and got ready for work. I listen to my scriptures on my way to work then have a video daily devotional with some friends via Marco Polo. I then put in an 8 hour work day. Then I came home and recorded 3 episodes of my upcoming podcast, Ag State Of Mind. After I was done with that, I ran out to my farm north of town to check on the fall calvers. I finished off by coming home, checking the cows at home, feeding the calves again, and finally getting the kids to bed.

There were times in my life where I would feel overwhelmed by such a busy day. But since I’ve been taking some time for gratitude in the mornings, I have a renewed spirit and sense of energy. In fact, studies show that taking time for gratitude has an enormous impact on our overall well being and happiness.

Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.

One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

In my post about journaling , I showed my morning journal and the spaces where I have for writing down 5 things I am grateful for each day. They are not always complex feelings. Sometimes I just write down that I am thankful that I get to enjoy my can of caffeine that morning šŸ™‚ . When we realize that we have so much to be grateful for, then we are becoming proactive instead of reactive. Heroes and mentors of Keri and I, Rachel and Dave Hollis, refer to this proactive approach as “frontloading.” When we prepare ourselves for the day ahead, then we are able to tackle what is thrown at us with a positive perspective.

Have you tried gratitude journaling… or even having thoughts of gratitude? Or do you spend your time complaining? As a former chronic complainer, I know that this is a vicious habit to get into. In fact, we tend to form tighter bonds over complaining than we do positive thoughts. Commiserating is a powerful ice-breaker. I believe we have to be vigilant in breaking this cycle. Begin to start conversations with positives instead of negatives and hopefully others will follow suit.

Today, I am thankful for

  1. Being healthy enough to go to work
  2. Being in the habit of running in the morning
  3. Being able to spend meaningful time with my kids
  4. That tomorrow is payday
  5. I have a happy marriage
  6. That cows are starting to calve

That list wasn’t prepared before hand. In fact, it was probably completely different than the list i made through my bleary eyes at 4:30 this morning. But after typing out that simple list of things, I instantly feel a jolt and am ready to take on whatever life brings my way today.

Thanks for checking out the blog today. Please remember to subscribe and share. If you feel comfortable, comment on my Facebook page what you are grateful for today.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, I am beginning recording my podcast “Ag State of Mind.” I have two incredible guests lined up for the first two episodes after my introduction. I plan on bringing even more great folks on to talk about breaking the stigma of mental health in agriculture. Please stay tuned to this blog and my social media pages for updates and links to where to find this podcast!

Until Next Time,

Jason

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