Welcome to the Rich Coach Club, the podcast that teaches you how to build your dream coaching practice and how to significantly increase your income. If you're a coach and you're determined to start making more money, this show is for you. I'm master certified life coach Susan Hyatt, and I'm psyched for you to join me on this journey.
When you hear people talk about being grateful, do you roll your eyes or do you get excited? Be honest. I can remember me saying, “Don’t tell me to be grateful,” when something was going on that I didn’t like. But here’s the thing; you might, like me, be doing gratitude wrong.
You might be trying to skip over processing your emotions and spiritually bypassing things in order to just feel good now. Or you might have a bad attitude about things. But listen up. Gratitude is like magic for your life and your business.
So in today’s episode, I’m going to blow your mind about why you should care and easy ways for anyone to practice gratitude, and also how gratitude can make you more profitable. Yes, really. Let’s dive in.
Here’s your two-minute pep talk for the week. This is the part of the show where I share encouragement and inspiration to get your week started off right. And I try to keep things to 120 seconds or less.
So I went to Facebook earlier today and I was talking about the fact that I was recording a podcast episode on gratitude and I asked my Facebook audience, hey, what are you grateful for and what are some of the experiences that you’ve had since establishing a gratitude practice?
And one of my Facebook friends, Jackie Taylor who said that establishing a gratitude practice actually helped her get through her cancer treatment, she recommended this quote from musician Ray Wylie Hubbard that says, “The days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, well, I have really good days.”
And I think that really sums it up. When you can stay ahead of what the ego wants, when you can keep your attitude of gratitude growing and strong, then overall, you’re going to have some pretty good days. And I’m going to make a bold statement here and say that if there’s something that you want, you can get it faster and more joyfully by using gratitude as wings because gratitude is such an amazing tool.
I’ve used it in my own life and I’m going to give you a really specific example. So I talk about Scott Hyatt, a.k.a the silver fox a lot on this podcast. And I post about him on social media and I joke with him that I’m his biggest PR agent because there’s quite the silver fox fan club out there. Y’all know who you are.
And with good reason. He’s a great husband. But I often joke that it was not always this way. Au contraire. His behavior has always been pretty good. It’s my behavior, my attitude that needed an adjustment. See, when my kids were little, I was a professional martyr. I wasn’t practicing gratitude on a regular basis, or I was pretty intermittent about it.
And I was trying to raise these kids and had just gone back to work as a residential realtor, and I was pretty overwhelmed by all of it. And my kids at the time, let’s say they were five and seven, or maybe even four and six when I was feeling my lowest. And when I was feeling my lowest, some of you may identify with this. I was looking for all the reasons why things weren’t going well, and I was also looking for somebody other than myself to blame.
And my husband was an easy scapegoat. And so I was transferring all of my power and everything that had gone wrong up until that point onto him. And I convinced myself that my life would be better if I could have a break, if I could just get a divorce. Split custody. If I could just have some relief.
And often, what humans beings do to experience relief, we do some pretty messed up stuff when we want immediate relief. And so my idea was you are the source of my problems, therefore we need a divorce. And I don’t know if I’ve ever told this story on this podcast or from the stage, but a hilarious thing happened when I had convinced myself that I needed a divorce.
I then sought legal counsel. And I’ll never forget, I was in my real estate office. I asked around for recommendations of who I should call. I called this gentleman’s office and I’m having a phone consult with him and setting up an appointment to come in and have the real consult.
And you know, it was a pretty lengthy conversation. Let’s say 20 minutes. By the time I hung up the phone, I turned around and the silver fox was standing in my doorway. As it turns out, he had been sitting in that law office’s lobby because in his commercial real estate practice, he did business with another associate there.
So he’s sitting in the lobby waiting to meet with his colleague to talk about this real estate deal, and a phone call comes in and the secretary says, “Jim Johnson, Susan Hyatt’s on line two,” and at that moment, Scott Hyatt just happened to be sitting there and said oh my goodness. There’s only why reason she would be calling him.
So he got into his car, he drove over to my real estate office and I hang up the phone and he’s standing there. And he’s like hey, I thought we were going to go to marriage counseling. What the hell are you doing?
And it was so synchronicitous. I was like okay, that’s a sign. I started going to therapy with him, discovered that hey, he was not the source of all my pain. I was the source of most of my pain, but one of the things that I did when I decided instead of exiting to get out of pain, when I decided to work through my pain and build something new with him together, I started using a tool that I have used in my life coaching practice ever since called the happy basket.
This is my answer to turning around days, relationships, businesses, all of it. So I’m going to put some links in the show notes. I’ve got a cute worksheet of course and some other resources for it but it’s pretty simple. Basically, what you do is you get a laundry basket. A large basket. And you put it in a high-traffic location of your home or your office, wherever you’re going to spend the most time.
And when I’m doing just a general happy basket with clients, it’s usually to help them turn towards what they notice tugs at their essential selves, their true selves. Meaning what makes you happy. It can go in the basket.
So it can be these shoes, or write down a memory, or unfortunately, we can’t make our children sit in a laundry basket, but maybe they did something that brightened your day. You could write that down on a Post-It note or an index card and put it in the basket.
Or maybe you see something in a magazine that really sparks your creativity. That can go in the basket. And over a week or two, when you go through and talk through what’s in the basket, you’ll notice trends in the basket. When you’re doing it on a person, to turn a relationship around or to just start feeling more grateful for the relationship – I’ve done this on Ryan Hyatt and I did this on the silver fox.
I started turning my attention towards things that this person did that filled me up, or made my life easier, or that I thought was thoughtful or that I was grateful for. And so for our purposes, for today’s episode, you can do it on your life in general or you can do it on a person.
So back to my story, I started capturing memories from the past that I was grateful for, that I had with Scott, and I started paying attention to what was happening in the present moment and putting it in the basket. So if he held the door open for me, if he brought the groceries in, if he ran an errand for me, if he said something that delighted me.
I started really paying close attention to what was happening and what I started to notice over time was that this was a great guy. This was a person who was really committed to the relationship. This was a person who was thoughtful and who maybe had a different love language than me – and if you don’t know about love languages, we’ll put a link to that in the show notes.
But that he was really pretty exceptional. And all I needed to do was pivot my attention towards what was going well and what I was grateful for. Now, I’ve done this on Ryan Hyatt as well. If you’re a listener of this podcast, you maybe have heard episodes where I talked about how – joked that the principal had me on speed dial. It really wasn’t a joke. It really was that way for most of his career in school.
And occasionally when I needed to, I would put things in the basket that was like, oh, he got himself up and ready for breakfast on time. Some of these things may seem really basic. You may have to really dial it back to the air that you breathe that you’re grateful for or what we consider to be simple abundances.
But if you can turn your attention towards what’s going well and what you like, over time this builds up a practice of turning your attention towards things that are going the way that you want. So your resilience boosts, your mood boosts, your sleep improves. There are so many benefits to practicing gratitude.
But I want to challenge you to happy basket either a person, your business, your life. I want you to get into the practice of taking note on what’s going really well or even – it doesn’t have to be earth-shattering. I mentioned things like holding the door open or unloading groceries. Simple everyday things.
I would love to hear what’s in your happy basket. And here’s the thing is that when you get into the habit of happy basketing, it becomes a way of life. And what I know for sure from my own life is it turned my entire marriage around to what you see today, which is 28 years together, empty-nesters, excited about the next 30 years or more. So get to it. Get happy basketing.
Now, we’re moving into the part of the show where I give shout-outs to you; shout-outs to listeners, clients, all the wonderful people in my business community. And today I want to give a shout-out to the listener who calls themselves Patch Head.
Patch Head left me a five-star review on iTunes and said, “I have learned so much about being a business owner from Susan Hyatt. She never fails to impress and leaves you with a newfound excitement not only about your business, but about all of your life. I’m all in for anything Susan Hyatt creates. Listen to every podcast. They will change your life.”
Listen to me. That gives me so much life. Thank you so, so much. I am so grateful for people who take the time to leave a review either on iTunes or Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. You all have no idea how it keeps me going and if you listen to any other podcasts, I can guarantee you that podcast host feels the same way.
To read reviews that people are number one, actually listening, number two, applying what they’re listening, it just means the world. So thank you so much. And hey, if you have something to say about this show, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can post a five-star iTunes review or Stitcher review or post something on social media on tag me and you might hear your name on a future episode. I love giving shout-outs to y’all so holler at me. Thank you for the love. I love you right back.
Okay Rich Coach Club listeners. It’s time for an interview. And today I’m speaking with Mindy Meiering. So Mindy is a breath of fresh air. When I think of gratitude, this woman is the queen of gratitude. She embodies living from a state of gratitude like no one else I have ever witnessed.
So she’s actually running a gratitude challenge soon, so you’re going to want to check out the show notes so that you can take part in that. But she’s a woman who has been a coach for a long, long time. She’s been running gratitude retreats as long as 12 years ago. She has battled IVF treatment and cancer, and she’s used gratitude as a way to navigate that like nobody’s business. You’re going to love her, and you’re going to love her tips, and I can’t wait for you to hear them so here we go.
Susan: Welcome to the podcast, Mindy Meiering.
Mindy: Thank you.
Susan: I am so excited to have who I consider to be the gratitude queen on the show. And I think that all of the entrepreneurs listening to this, I mean, you have a captive audience of people who definitely are interested in gratitude already. I mean, let’s face it. Coaches tend to be inclined to practice gratitude. But I don’t think enough people understand not only is it powerful and feel good, but it’s a super practical tool to use in your life for many reasons. But let’s back up and talk a little bit about this has been a practice in your life for decades.
Mindy: Yeah. So I remember, and some of your listeners might remember this. Back in the 90s, a book came out called Simple Abundance. Do you remember that?
Susan: I had that book, yes.
Mindy: And I remember seeing the author. Her name is Sarah Ban Breathnach and so I remember seeing her on Oprah and she talked about gratitude journaling and Oprah started talking about gratitude journaling, and that was when I first started. So I guess this would have been, I don’t know, 20 years ago.
And it made such a difference in my life. I really noticed the impact that I kept doing it. And then I, over the years, have just used gratitude in different ways. I mean, there’s lots of – we’ll talk more about that probably, but there’s lots of different ways you can practice it, but that was when I really got hooked on gratitude was from the book Simple Abundance.
Susan: Isn’t that funny? And I remember the cover of that book. It was like a peachy pink color. Maybe it had some flowers or something. And I bought that book – of course, I talk about in this podcast all the time how Oprah practically raised me after school. And so any book that Oprah recommended, I would go get. Even at a super, super young age.
And so I do remember that was my introduction to gratitude as well. And so what did you notice over the years and what led you to start teaching it? Because you’ve been teaching it now for many years as well.
Mindy: So one of the things I noticed, because I struggled with some mild depression and anxiety when I was younger, and I still do off and on if I find myself under a lot of stress, that will flare up. And I just found that as I practiced gratitude and just started really focusing on what was going well or what was going right in my life, it just shifted my mood.
I just noticed that I felt lighter, I felt happier. All of a sudden, I was complaining less and focusing more on what was going well in my life. And I just liked how I felt better when I was practicing gratitude regularly. So that’s what got me hooked and what kept me practicing it.
And then about 12 years ago I started leading retreats and it was I think in 2012, I offered a gratitude retreat. And I thought, I don’t know if anyone’s going to sign up for this or not, and I had – the first day filled up and then I offered a second day. It was a day-long retreat. That day filled up. And I realized that people were really hungry to learn more about it. And so that was when I started teaching about it more.
Susan: And I love that you’ve been doing these retreats 12 years ago. That’s forever and ever ago. And so let me ask you this. What do you notice is the number one stumbling block people have with getting started in gratitude practice or experiencing gratitude?
Mindy: So I think one thing, like any new habit is just consistency. They want to do it but they start to do it and then it’s hard for them just to do it consistently. And then the other thing is sometimes when we’re going through really challenging times in our lives, I’ve had people say it just feels like, I’m kind of going through the motions. They’re really dealing with some big stuff.
Like coming back to the basics, like I’m really grateful that I woke up in a warm bed this morning and that I have clean water to drink, or that I have – these basics in our lives, when it feels like everything else is kind of like, going down the tubes.
Susan: I love that you said that because I remember actually back from the episode where – and there were many episodes where Oprah talked about gratitude so I don’t remember which one it actually was. But somebody was having a difficult time finding something to be grateful for because there were so many traumatic things happening in her life.
And I’ll never forget – and it’s just what you said. I remember Oprah saying like, sometimes it’s I’m grateful for the air I am breathing, that that’s it. I’m breathing in and I’m breathing out. When it’s really difficult to find something.
And I think that I went on Facebook on Friday and it was like, SOS red alert. My landscaper accidentally sliced my internet line. And literally, it was hilariousness because this poor landscaper, who is the nicest guy, he knows I work from home but he doesn’t really quite get what I do. And he was so – tapping on the back door and was like, I’m so sorry. This was an accident.
And I had to give myself some perspective here like, I’m on my smart phone, complaining that my Wi-Fi is down. And boy, I’ll tell you though, when AT&T showed back up today and restored it, I was like, hallelujah. But there are people who do not have water to drink or food to eat. Sometimes it’s first world problems.
It’s really understanding like yes, this is a major inconvenience, however, I’m grateful to have a roof over my head and food in my fridge and a cat that is cuddly although sometimes he has an attitude. Bringing it back to basics I think can be super key when you think the sky is falling.
Mindy: Yeah, exactly. And each fall – so here’s another perspective that I’ll offer on that. Each fall I do a gratitude challenge in November. And last year – this came to me from somewhere, but I coined this term and I just called it recycled gratitude. When we were talking about how do you find the gratitude when life just feels really overwhelming or really dark and you’re going through a tough time.
And that’s where I think having a consistent gratitude practice can be helpful. I was talking about recycled gratitude and I’m like, you know, if you’re having a hard time today to be grateful for, go back and look at your gratitude journal from the last few months and just look at that and maybe that will – I’m like, use some recycled gratitude and just use those for today. Because so often, the same things do tend to show up even in different ways.
Susan: That’s beautiful. And I think it’s important for all of us, especially in this entrepreneurial space where everything can feel roller coastery and dramatic all the time, there can be some dramatic highs, some dramatic lows, of course, that’s what our mind makes it. For example, using the Wi-Fi. The domino effect of the Wi-Fi was that we had to reschedule this interview.
And I could feel the anxiety in my body and my mind racing with all the things that I needed to do but in reality, all of you podcast listeners, I hope you’re waiting with bated breath on Monday mornings for the latest episode, but if it’s not right there, it’s not the end of the world.
So some perspective is needed. And speaking of perspective, let’s talk about a couple of the – I do think it’s super helpful for people to hear some of the things that you have gone through, personal experiences you’ve gone through in your life and how gratitude has helped you rebound, recover, and keep going.
Mindy: Yeah. Well, I’m happy to share that. You know, I think probably a good place to start would be at four years ago this fall, my husband – so my husband and I, in addition to the coaching practice I have, my husband and I have a business called Inhabit, and we had two 1000 square foot studio spaces here in Durango. And we had all kinds of classes. Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, I did coaching workshops.
And then we had this dream of building a retreat center and we were able to buy this land on the Big Island of Hawaii and that’s – we’ve been putting our time and energy into trying to get a retreat center off the ground there these last four years. And so we decided it was too much to have the business here, so we closed these two studios.
So that was four years ago this fall. We were in the process of closing these studios. And Patrick and I got married a little later in life and we were trying to start a family, and just having trouble getting pregnant. And so we also started doing IVF that same fall.
At the same time, one of my best friends who I had lived with for seven years, like a sister to me, was basically dying of cancer. And a week before Thanksgiving, I had this little lump in my neck and I didn’t really think anything about it. But when I was getting a physical at the IVF clinic, they said you really need to check that out and see what it is.
So I had it removed and biopsied, and literally, two days before Thanksgiving I go in to get the stitches out, thinking it’s just going to be a routine visit, and the doctor calls me in and he’s like, your biopsy came back and you have lymphoma. I was literally in shock because I’m a pretty healthy person overall and take good care of myself.
So throughout all of those things, I would say that gratitude really helped me, and not to minimize the challenge that each of those things in and of themselves produce. Shutting down the business and then I got to visit my really good friend, she was in Phoenix at the time getting treatment, and I got to go spend some time with her. I was so incredibly grateful for that.
And then when I got diagnosed with the lymphoma, I had worked at the hospital here in Durango for eight years so I knew a lot of the providers. And the oncologist read my results right away, called me personally to let me know that it looked pretty low grade, low stage at the time, and just over time, I’ve actually had to – it’s progressed and I’ve had to get treatment. I’m in the middle of a course of treatment.
But there’s so many things I’m grateful for. I have a great support system. I have insurance that pays for most of my treatments. And again, I’m human. I have those moments where fear comes in or I just feel kind of like, overwhelmed coordinating everything with my care. And then I can step back into that place of gratitude and remember like, I’m so blessed.
I’m blessed to be here; I’m blessed that I’ll be celebrating another birthday soon. Those little things that we sort of take for granted, or as you get older, you’re like oh my god, I’m a year older. And I just look at it from a totally different perspective now. Every birthday I’m like, I’m really grateful to still be here.
Susan: Yeah, I do think – I cringe when women or men, and I hear it a lot where they’re like, another birthday, I don’t want to get older. I was recently actually – Scott, the silver fox, races cars as a hobby and we were at Road America. There was a friend of his that is a little older and he was saying something about a birthday and rolling his eyes about it.
And I was like, what is the celebration of your existence? And he was like, I don’t enjoy getting older. And I was like, but what’s the alternative? We need to celebrate. Celebrate our wisdom and celebrate all the amazing things that happen. We only – I’m off on a tangent now, but the only reason we don’t like getting older is because our culture so celebrates youth instead of celebrating the wisdom of elders. And I could talk about diet culture but I won’t because we’re talking about gratitude.
Mindy: I know, but – no, I agree with what you’re saying and I think that my perspective and being able to rest in that place of gratitude so much of the time because I had trained my mind for so long to cultivate thankfulness. And even when I was going through IVF, I remember – and for us, once I got diagnosed with cancer, I made the decision not to keep doing that because one of my providers said there’s a chance that putting this extra hormones in your body could have triggered this cancer.
You don’t know. And I just didn’t want to take the chance. But even when I was going through that, I would drive up to Denver, I would be in that clinic, and I would walk in and I could see – it can be a really stressful experience. And I just made the choice that I was going to do my best and however it worked out, sometimes you just don’t even have a – there’s that whole mystical element too.
You don’t know. And I would walk in and I would just immediately try to go to that place of gratitude and just feel thankful that I could take the time off work to do this, to give us that chance. And yes of course, we were sad that it didn’t work, but during that time, that was one of the things that really helped me keep a more positive attitude was just staying in that place of gratitude.
Susan: And so let me ask you this. What do you notice from either reading research or working with clients, what are the biggest benefits and payoffs really to establishing a gratitude practice?
Mindy: So I’ve done this gratitude challenge two years in a row and each year at the end, I always ask people for feedback. And one of the most consistent pieces of feedback that I get from people is that they say they feel happier. That there’s a change in their mood, that they notice that they start to complain less.
Because when we’re focusing on what we’re grateful for, we’re not focusing as much on the things that we’re unhappy with in our lives. So they say that they start to look at things through a much different lens, feel happier, feel less stressed, feel more optimistic. That’s a word that I hear a lot. I feel more optimistic.
And people have also told me consistently that they see a difference in their relationships, and I think that’s because when we’re focusing on what we’re thankful for, oftentimes, any of us in our lives, in our works, we’re so interdependent. Just looking at what happened to you today, your internet wasn’t working. You were dependent on that person from AT&T coming out to fix it so you could get your internet restored.
And his job is dependent on other people doing their jobs and supporting him. And so when we are practicing gratitude consistently, we’re acknowledging the way in which other people contribute to our life and that just helps strengthen our relationships.
Susan: Absolutely. And I do think that we are so connected and what I notice is when I am practicing gratitude, that it definitely spills over onto my family, my clients, my friends because I’m not in a mood of complaining or looking on the negative side of things. And I do think that sometimes – I wonder what you think about this.
I sometimes think that those of us who work in self-help can be really quick to jump to what we’re grateful for or the positive side instead of processing what needs to be processed. So do you have any tips on – because you have gone through IVF treatment, you’ve gone through cancer, and are still in a treatment program regimen for that. Do you have an opinion on the importance of – I think people are calling it spiritual whitewashing when there’s a refusal to look at what’s happening and processing before you jump to gratitude.
Mindy: I have a very strong opinion on this. And the other term I’ve heard is spiritual bypassing, where it’s like we bypass acknowledging those feelings and go straight to what we’re feeling grateful for and what’s going well. And that is really powerful that I think equally as important is making sure that you acknowledge those feelings.
And for me, I’ve had a therapist that I’ve worked with throughout this process. It’s been invaluable. I have amazing support and people that I can turn to when I need to process the intense emotions that sometimes come up. The sadness, the fear, anger. I don’t really spend a lot of time in thinking about why did this happen to me because it just did. It did.
But certainly, there have been feelings, all those feelings that have come up. And I try not to push them down, and in my work too with clients, I always encourage them to really find a way to express and move through those feelings. I think that’s just as important.
Susan: For everyone listening, I want to make sure when we talk about the importance of practicing gratitude and the benefits of gratitude that when you’re going through something big, traumatic, there will be emotions that come up that have to be processed. So we’re not recommending that you just jump to gratitude.
This is a practice that will help you rebound quickly, yes, feel good, focus on what’s positive, but not a replacement for doing some of the deep inner work that somebody is going to need to do for big life change and trauma and things like that. So here’s my question. Mindy, what do you notice in terms of the benefits of gratitude for people in business? Can it make us more profitable?
Mindy: You know, I think a lot of your listeners are probably solo entrepreneurs. Is that right?
Susan: Yes, lots of solo-preneurs.
Mindy: Yeah. And so kind of going back to that whole concept of interdependence and that none of us do this alone, even if we’re in business for ourselves, we probably have a lot of different people that are helping us. Whether it’s our families supporting us or it’s your graphic designer, your VA, and showing them gratitude, showing them appreciation, I think is so important.
Just when we each of us step back and think about how it feels to be thanked and appreciated, just creates this really great vibe that then ripples out. And that can have a positive impact on our business. I think about in my own business – so when I turned 40, this is eight years ago, I wrote 40 thank you letters to people in my life that had made an impact in my life.
And then I decided that I was going to keep doing that. It felt really good. And so it’s kind of become a part of my business practice where I write – I try to write a thank you letter each day during the week. And sometimes it’s not always related to business, but I feel like that ripples over into my business. And that when people feel appreciated, your clients, the people that – contractors that work for you, that makes them want to show up and do a better job.
And interestingly, in the research on gratitude in the workplace, when employees feel valued, they have higher job satisfaction and they’re willing to work longer hours, they’re willing to go the extra mile and more motivated to do their best work, so that’s another way that it can make a big difference too.
Susan: Yeah, I think you bring up such a great point. Because when I think about gratitude and all of the amazing benefits of it, and I think about profitability as an entrepreneur, for sure, having an attitude of gratitude, if you will, will help you surf the waves of business in general, but also what you’re saying is such a great point I hadn’t thought about, which is when you express gratitude to clients and to contractors and to coworker and people you do business with, that has a ripple effect.
And I can definitely say firsthand, having a spirit of generosity and also being grateful for what my team does, like I’m thinking right now of my right-hand Larissa, who recently was promoted to project manager. She went on a picnic over the weekend, she’s living her best life, practicing Bare principles and experiencing pleasure, doing something fun. She got bit by a scorpion.
Mindy: That’s so painful.
Susan: It’s so painful. So she’s like, messaging me from the doctor that one of her legs is paralyzed from this scorpion bite. And I’m like girl, put your phone down. But let me tell you something. I think that we both appreciate each other so much that it’s like, even when you’re bit by a scorpion, you’re showing up for work.
I have so much gratitude for people who have that kind of love for what we’re doing over here at this company. So you’re reminding me I need to tell her that.
Mindy: Yeah. And there’s such a connection between gratitude – wow, I’m still blown away. Stung by a scorpion, oh my gosh. Many healing thoughts. But yeah, I mean there’s such a link between happiness and gratitude, and the happier your employees are, the greater the productivity. Research shows that.
So we can certainly get greater productivity as we cultivate gratitude and have happier employees, contractors, and it’s so easy to express our thankfulness. It takes nothing. It can be a text message that just says thank you for going above and beyond today. You have no idea how much that helped me. And that takes two seconds.
Susan: And I think that you having the practice of writing gratitude letters to people and also challenging, and I definitely want to challenge our listeners to as soon as you finish doing whatever you’re doing, text someone a thank you and tell them why you’re grateful for them. But are there any other couple quick gratitude practices that we can challenge my audience to try out? And then I want you to tell them about your gratitude challenge.
Mindy: Yes. So I’ll tell you about a fun – so we’ve all probably heard of the gratitude journal. But I think another fun practice. In the gratitude journaling, they talk about writing down five things every day that you’re grateful for. And so here are a few other ways you can practice it in your life.
Kids, like you, that are off to college, and friends that live far away or that you don’t see that often, it’s a nice way to stay connected with someone and also do your gratitude practice. So a gratitude text practice.
And then in terms of the workplace practice, and this is really simple but it’s just starting your meetings with gratitude, which is taking a couple minutes where everyone goes around on your team and shares one or two things that they’re feeling really grateful for in that moment. And it’s a nice way to come into that space of gratitude and also really get a sense of what’s going on for each person, where they’re at.
Susan: Oh my gosh, I am implementing this immediately. We have our team meetings on Mondays and the next Monday I’m totally doing this.
Mindy: Yeah. And then what else? Let’s see. I think writing thank you letters. This is so basic, but in the research on happiness, what they have found is that people who write thank you letters – and there’s a really specific kind of thank you letter actually that they’ve done research on. But it’s writing a letter to someone that’s done something for you in your life and then actually going to visit that person or setting up a time to read the letter to them over the phone or Skype if you don’t live near them, can make a huge difference.
People’s happiness levels were boosted for almost a month after they did. So the thank you letter and visit is another way of practicing gratitude that I often share with people. Yeah, for a month.
Susan: I think that it’s interesting when you think about in the show notes in other segments of this episode, I talk a lot about the research. And it’s just really interesting for those of you who need the science to back it up, I was talking – I started a thread on Facebook about hey, I’m recording an episode on gratitude, what are you grateful for and what do you notice when you practice gratitude?
And there are definitely people who are like, I would love to hear the science on this. I’m like, okay, I got you boo. But the research shows that that practice alone can boost you for a month. Hello, I’m in. I’m going to go figure out who I’m reading a thank you letter to.
Mindy: For a month. And I could literally geek out on the science of gratitude for another hour with you but I don’t know we don’t have that much time. But it’s really, really incredible all the benefits of gratitude. I mean, the research and positive psychology is showing that people who practice it regularly, not just experience greater happiness, but reduce stress, improved health, stronger relationships, stronger resilience.
And the way I think about it, kind of this time of year for those of us who live in climates where it’s going to start getting colder, we start to boost our immune system with adding in extra garlic and echinacea and all these things. I think that practicing gratitude can help boost our emotional immune system so that when tough times do hit, we have a bit more resilience.
Susan: That’s so good. And what a great place to end this. Now, if people want more and they want to join in your gratitude challenge, tell them how they can find you. We’ll put it in the show notes and let them know what you’re doing.
Mindy: Yes, so you can go to my website, which is mindymeiering.com. And if you want to sign up for my email list, there is a free report called Five Ways to Up Your Gratitude Game and then I’ll have the registration for my gratitude challenge, which is a 21-day challenge in November will go live a little bit later this month.
Susan: So good. Mindy, thank you so much for your time today.
Mindy: Thank you so much. It’s been so much fun to hang with you for this half hour.
Susan: And I’m grateful for you.
Mindy: I’m grateful for you too. Thanks.
So in the spirit of talking about gratitude, I want to challenge you – so on top of all the amazing things that Mindy talked about, so she brought up writing gratitude letters, having a gratitude practice of writing five things you’re grateful for every single day. That’s something that I do. I might sometimes do three. For some reason, I love the number three but do five.
And she talked about simple ways that you can develop and cultivate this attitude of gratitude, and she also talked about just the science-based research that shows what happens when you get into a practice like this. So it improves your health, it improves your emotional health. So it improves – we talked about improving your mood.
It can improve your actual health, it reduces anxiety, it helps you become more social, so it connects you with other human beings. And I am making the argument as we discussed, that it helps you become more profitable. Because if you’re feeling better, your behavior is better and if your behavior is better, your results are going to be better. It just works that way.
So I’m going to challenge everybody though to do something that I also did years ago, and with the release of this podcast, I am going to do this with you. 30 days of no complaining. How about it? 30 days of no complaining. You guys remember when this became popular? It’s been at least a decade ago.
It’s probably been a decade since I did it. So here we go. 30 days of no complaining. And this isn’t about letting people walk all over you. It isn’t at all about not having boundaries. If you practice 30 days of no complaining, what it forces you to do is be solution-focused.
So if something happens that you don’t like, instead of complaining about it, you’re going to do something about it. So get into action, set boundaries. Remember what your mama said. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
So this is what we’re going to do in my community. 30 days of no complaining. And I’m going to decide what kind of prizes I’m going to give away for this because this is a big deal. This is a big deal. But can you imagine? I’m thinking for myself how much time and mental energy I’m going to save. Instead of complaining about something, we’re going to do something about it.
So remember The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz? Remember that book? Remember how simple those four agreements are? And if you’re not familiar with that book, we’ll put a link in the show notes. But they’re super simple. Be impeccable with your word, so speak with integrity. Don’t take anything personally. Easier said than done, right?
But when you set that challenge for yourself, like I’m just not going to take anything personally, it removes so much drama from your life. Number three, don’t make assumptions. So instead of assuming, you ask for clarification and communicate with others. And number four, always do your best.
So be impeccable with your word is really where the no complaining challenge comes in. Who’s in with me? Who’s in with this no complaining challenge? Because I really think that if we combine the happy basket with having a daily gratitude practice, so you could do thank you notes, you could count your blessings daily, have five things you’re grateful for every day.
Meditation is a way to get into gratitude. Thank you letters, Mindy mentioned, but she also mentioned deliberately reading the thank you or the letter of gratitude to people and that that could help put you in a state of improved mood for a month.
These are all simple ways to feel better, improve your health, improve your profitability. But I’m going to do the 30-day no complaining challenge. I feel like we need like back in the day when that was popular, there were rubber bracelets you could wear. I feel like we need some kind of totem. Like we either need t-shirts or hats or something.
Maybe we need my buddy Frances Cadora to make us bracelets or something. But anyway, who’s with me? Who’s going to join me on this 30 days of no complaining? I can’t wait to hear. Alright, so that’s our episode for today.
I can’t wrap up today’s episode without saying I’m 1000% grateful for each and every one of you who takes the time to download my podcast and listen to them and do things in your life to make your own life better. The ripple effect of you improving your life, it heals future generations and it heals previous generations, so keep that shit up, yo.
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