You’ve Made a Difference in My Life

The Spin Cyle of Life

Have you ever unloaded clothes from the washer and been frustrated with how tangled they’ve become? 

For many, “The 2020s” feel like an overloaded machine with twisted contents: we start our days with clear-intention but then surrounding agitation occurs, yielding unexpected results.

I’ve found that the best way to remain “wrinkle-free” in all this chaos is through conscious mindset management.

Choosing a positive perspective isn’t naive and doesn’t involve living in denial. Below is a way to sort through your life with grace and gratitude despite all the tumbling going on. May you stay “well-pressed” during these pressing times.

Something important caught my eye in The New York Times early this morning – an article about the benefits of writing gratitude letters. Many thoughts flooded my mind as a result, so I’d like to pass along a few ideas.

Letter writing is an excellent therapeutic tool: There’s something synergistic in the process that sparks well-being. Over my years as a psychotherapist, I’ve suggested clients capture their thoughts and feelings by putting pen to paper. Writing these sentences can uncover inner-feelings and help develop clarity and resolve.

Sharing is Caring

However, it’s not just the transcribing process that’s therapeutic. Sharing with intention what’s written can super-size the positive effect of this exercise.

During recent research, a selection of participants created letters expressing gratitude to others. In contrast, another group wrote about their deepest thoughts and feelings about stressful experiences. Findings showed that the gratitude-based authors reported significantly better mental health after several weeks than those writing only about their inner-lives.

You Mean the World to Me

So, with this in mind, I’m posting this gratitude letter to all of you – the consistent and occasional readers of The Mental Gym’s monthly newsletter for the last 15-years.

I’ve learned a lot from you. This admission may seem strange, as my articles intend to target your emotional growth. Yet, the process and discipline of writing over the years helps me better my self-understanding both at work and at home.

I’ve also evolved with my clients’ assistance: More than once, I’ve shared a chuckle, admitting, “I’ve been in therapy 20-hours a week, for over two decades.” Our shared in-session conversations weave and pivot but always illuminate. The adage “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” comes to mind because all participants benefit.

This year, as the traumatic COVID fog begins to dissipate and reconnection becomes increasingly possible, let’s practice sharing the best of our humanity. Tap the shoulder of someone who has touched your life and let them know of their positive impact.

Until then, sending a virtual hug in the form of a handwritten note or thoughtful email can lift the spirits of those around you, as well as bolster your own morale.

So, I’ll close with a heartfelt “Thank you.” You’ve made a positive difference in my life, and for that, I am grateful.

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