Lessons from Posting Gratitude on Social Media for 21 Days- Round 2
How the yearly challenge affects mindset and overall quality of life
This is the second year that I’ve taken part in a challenge involving posting gratitude for 21 days on Facebook. It was a challenge that I was eager for and started right away when my friend who started the challenge started asking around for who was in.
To differentiate it from last year, I decided to add a photo per day. Completing this challenge the second time around left some massive impressions.
These are the things that impacted me and I honestly believe could impact anyone else if they chose to take part in this experiment:
The Effect of Photos
Choosing to post a photo every day, as well as text, kept me grounded. It was a daily reminder of having the post on a deadline. Working with photos reminded me of how much I love and miss out on this practice for much of 2020. Plus, it will be interesting to look back on my current life in future years.
The photos show much more than the text could ever show- the bed and breakfast we stayed in after we got married, my dog standing by my two notebooks and a book, and the card my mother gave me the night before I got married.
They are a different way to enter the memories and to keep them more vivid year after year. They add a layer of meaning.
Gratitude Trains Your Brain
The second-year was easier than the first. Scanning through the day for a single highlight can be difficult if you’re not used to doing it. However, once you have practiced this, it’s an easy ritual to fall back into. Gratitude trains your brain to look for the positive and opens your life up to more positivity.
Gratitude Can Affect Every Area of Your Life
During this challenge, I’ve tried to let others know how grateful I was for them instead of just posting on Facebook. It affected my relationship with my husband by setting a solid foundation by thanking and praising. I hugged my dogs extra tight because I knew how much they meant to me. I reframed my mindset at work because I was grateful to have a job. It affected other relationships though because it gave me a chance to put the spotlight on others and let them know how much I admire them.
It Stretches Your Creativity and Mindfulness
Using the same five things to be grateful for each day is easy. However, what about when you choose to come up with something unique for that day?
That was part of my challenge this time. I wanted a variety of thankful posts and so I went beyond the obvious and brought in some things that might not have been known about me before now. Choosing something different requires mindfulness to each part of your day- what really stands out?
The photo part struck me as it leads me back to what I was doing before I was writing- participating in photo challenges, creating bullet journal spreads, and mixing up a capsule wardrobe.
Incorporating both gratitude and photos made me long for this period of time and inspired me to fire up my old Instagram account to document a photo a day for this month.
It Was a Welcome Distraction from the Election
I don’t speak about politics. I have my beliefs and my thoughts, but I try to avoid talking about them. Usually, during an election year, you see an overwhelming amount of political posts. I try to avoid these as much as possible. However, this year it wasn’t too bad, due to the memes and gratitude I saw across Facebook. I was looking more forward to seeing what friends had to post than the election. It was a welcome distraction from refreshing my screen every two seconds.
21 Days of Gratitude is not a set in a stone time frame or set of dates. It can begin or end during any part of the year. It’s a helpful exercise when you know that things will be stressful. This practice, if we are willing to invest, affects: relationships, mindsets, and joy levels. It’s a small amount of time to change your entire day.