Resilience through thankfulness
In 10 years from now – what will your story be about 2020? For sure, it was a special year for everybody. Worldwide. And as reflection of a past year always is a good habit, it seems to be even more important at the end of 2020.
As 2020 contained so much uncertainty, loss and failure, the reflection of this year has the potential to raise your level of resilience. With more resilience in your mental pocket, you can face upcoming challenges with a new inner strength. And this is when you can leave 2020 with a smile.
For a start, the human brain loves to store moments of intense feelings. This is a good thing when it comes to weddings, births or graduations. But life also provides negative moments like loss, pain or failure. Unreflected, these moments can be stored quite long in our memory and they even overwrite the good things in life.
Unsure whether this is true for your brain? Let’s test this hypothesis: after a day of work, what moments do you share at home? Most likely, you will tell moments when you have been treated unfairly, someone broke an obvious rule or misbehaved. The negative moments are easy at hand whilst positive moments, e.g. a smiling customer or generous tip, somehow fade away.
If you caught your brain, focussing on the negative moments quite easily, it is good for you to notice. Because this effect will be even more intense in a year like 2020. But even the worst years provide good moments and valuable lessons. If you reflect consciously, you actually can store the positive impact of a year.
If you do this for years like 2020, you increase your resilience because you consciously move your thoughts away from the negativity and decide to focus on the things you can be thankful for. 2020 is a great year to train directing your thoughts. You are the owner of your thoughts and you can decide what you take with you from a year.
Having that in mind, set aside some uninterrupted time and take some notes on these reflection questions:
- What are you thankful for in this very moment?
- What moments of 2020 do you want to keep in your memory and why?
- What did you learn in the past year?
- What do you want to leave in 2020?
- Whom do you need to forgive? Do you forgive?
- and again: What are you thankful for?
Writing down your thoughts intensifies the reflection as your mind needs to slow down to the speed of your hand. You will only write what is most important to you – especially if you are not a ‘writing person’. Therefore, take your personal time and write down your thoughts.
For an even more powerful moment, destroy the answers of the questions ‘What do you want to leave in 2020’ and ‘Whom do you need to forgive? Do you forgive?’. If you have walked through these topics, you don’t need a written record of it. It is done.