A good friend and mentor of mine, Sam Sebastian, is known for saying:

Choose Optimism.”

Optimism. A nice idea in theory. The question I have is how do you stay optimistic during this pandemic?

In my case, I haven’t seen my family in a very long time and I’m not sure when I’ll see them again in-person. Meanwhile, my Nana passed away in December and I was unable to attend her funeral.

Overall, it’s getting harder and harder to choose optimism, but one way to start is to try to #ChooseGratitude.

Gratitude isn’t just about saying thank you to a person who has done something for you. Gratitude is about taking the time to notice and reflect upon the things (you’re) thankful for. In order to practice choosing gratitude, I invite you to list five things you’re grateful for. 

Five things I’m grateful for

#1: I’m grateful for my wife Leora. I’ve said many times that there’s nobody I’d rather be locked in a house with for 10-plus months. 

I'm grateful for my wife #ChooseGratitude

#2: I’m grateful for my dogs Gilligan and Brella and I have to admit that I’ve learned a lot about gratitude from their behaviours. Their simple tail wags and smiles make it clear to my wife and I that they really appreciate everything we do for them.

I'm grateful for my dogs

#3: I’m grateful for my family. I’m extremely fortunate that my parents, sisters, nephews and in-laws are all healthy and safe.

#4: I’m grateful to Google, my primary employer for giving me the flexibility to work from home and for caring about my well-being.

#5: I’m grateful to be able to share my thoughts with you through this post and through EQ Improved workshops. This has been an exciting adventure for me so far.

There are tremendous benefits to choosing gratitude and I invite you to read two studies about how gratitude positively impacts your emotional well-being. They are available at the end of this post.

But for now, #ChooseGratitude. And hopefully, this will help you #ChooseOptimism.

Referenced studies

How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain – Joshua Brown, Joel Wong: Greater Good Magazine, University of California at Berkeley
5 Scientific Facts that Prove Gratitude is Good for You – goodnet.org

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