As I drove to south campus earlier today for the University Wellness Initiative’s Spring Wellness Series, I asked myself what I felt grateful for today. On the short drive to skytop office building, it began to snow and what quickly came to mind was that I was not grateful for the lingering effects of winter- it’s nearly April, work with us here Mother Nature!
The Spring Wellness Series is being offered exclusively for SU staff and faculty and is led by licensed social worker, Nicole Christina. Nicole warmly welcomed us and provided some surprising facts about the strong, positive effects of gratitude on our mental wellbeing. She referenced the work of Robert Emmons throughout her talk. I won’t give away everything she shared, you’ll have to sign up and see for yourself! But I will share this, the practice of gratitude is good for you! Nicole emphasized that we may often feel overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities and while practicing gratitude or mindfulness may be something we desire to do, it often becomes another to-do on a never-ending list. For the remainder of the session we discussed practical ways to integrate gratitude into our daily lives. Everyone’s preferences were a little different, but all were excellent ways to easily cultivate more gratitude in our lives.
Nicole left us with a few exercises to practice on our own as we begin to express more gratitude in our lives. By the end of the session, I realized what I was grateful for. I am grateful that at the end of a hectic week of work that brings me both satisfaction and stress, my employer offers programs like this to help me to feel well in my personal and professional life. I would like to express my gratitude to the University Wellness Initiative for sponsoring this workshop and I would encourage all SU staff and faculty to take advantage of the upcoming wellness programs being offered this spring.