It’s been a great year for us at Verily—a growing audience (thanks for reading!), more babies, and plenty of personal growth. We’ve had our challenges and learning experiences, too, of course. At this time of the year, it’s tempting to sweep the highs and lows of the past months under the rug in preparation for the bright, shiny new year ahead. But reminiscing over our achievements and disappointments grants us valuable life lessons and refreshes and prepares us for what’s to come.
Meditating, journaling, and practicing gratitude all benefit our mental, spiritual, and physical health. Research from the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine shows that mindful meditation can actually speed up recovery, lower blood pressure, and strengthen the immune system. Keeping a journal, which is a form of mindfulness, has been shown to lower stress and anxiety, according to the American Psychological Association. Similarly, the New York Times notes, “Cultivating an ‘attitude of gratitude’ has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life, and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners.”
To help us—and you!—reflect on the year just passed, we’ve compiled forty questions to get your juices flowing. Use these questions for personal reflection, write down your thoughts, go through them with a loved one over cups of hot cocoa, or use them as conversation starters at the dinner table. Don’t get caught up in goal setting though. This is a time to let the events, feelings, and memories of 2015 marinate before you begin to scheme for 2016. Feel free to print, pin, and post these questions as you please. The more mindfulness we share, the merrier.
We’re so thankful for your support and look forward to another wonderful year ahead as we continue to reflect and grow together.
Photo Credit: Xavier Navarro Photography