Almost everyone is into challenges these days.
If you own a fitness monitor, no doubt you are well aware of them: “Mary M challenges you to the workday hustle.” Because I have such a device, I receive challenges constantly. (For the record, I don’t accept them. Please don’t invite me.)
Recently, the craze which spread across the globe was the Ice Bucket Challenge. In this seemingly masochistic event, a bucket of ice and water was dumped over a person’s head to promote awareness of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and encourage donations. I was never sure the relationship between them, but, what the heck, it was for a good cause.
At the risk of being judgmental (okay, I’ll own it; I am judging), some challenges are simply downright weird. As illustration, the “eat it or wear it challenge,” where participants each place one food into one of a series of numbered paper bags. A bowl with folded slips of numbered paper, each corresponding to a bag, is passed among the contributors and each takes a turn choosing a number. He or she then has to either eat a spoonful of the food in that bag, or must wear said food. Yep, you read that right. It’s weird, isn’t it?
Anyway, tips to make this more stimulating include choosing foodstuffs such as baby food, hot sauce, and horseradish. The question remains, “Why would anyone do this?” Unsure. However, it’s safe to assume a prerequisite for this challenge is possession of way too much time on one’s hands, and a worrisome lack of culinary and fashion senses.
That said, I have a challenge for you. Don’t worry, you won’t have to protect your clothing.
Step 1: Take a deep breath, relax your posture; loosen your muscles, and settle yourself down. (Go ahead; do that now; I’ll wait).
Step 2: Think of something for which you are grateful. It matters not what it is. Feel it deeply; let it flow over you like a warm shower.
Step 3: Try and feel angry, frustrated, or sad while you feel grateful.
Can’t do it, huh? I knew that. It’s impossible to feel bad when you feel thankful. It can’t be done. Period. Gratitude and anxiety cannot exist in the same sphere; only one will survive.
So, to that end, as we enter the last month of the year, I figured — ever being the helper — that I’d provide a catalogue of reasons to stimulate gratitude; 31 of them to be exact, one for each day. Feel free to add your own.