A Simple But Powerful Way To Practice Gratitude: Q&A With Debra Gonsher Vinik
I learned about the website Mincha Moment when its co-founder Debra Gonsher Vinik emailed me about my Weightless post on 50 things I’m grateful for. As soon as I visited her site, I knew I had to share it with you guys.
The premise of the site is simple but oh-so powerful: Take just a moment at the same time every day to be thankful.
Gratitude is good for us. Gratitude reminds us of all the amazing things our bodies enable us to do. Gratitude reminds us of all the amazing people in our lives.
Gratitude helps us pause, and pay attention to what’s truly important. It helps us appreciate the everyday moments that bring meaning.
Below, Debra, Ph.D, who’s also a writer, documentary producer and 3-time Emmy award winner, reveals the story behind Mincha Moment, how practicing gratitude has changed her life, and much more.
Q: What is Mincha Moment?
A: Mincha Moment is a moment you take in the day (we have used 2:30 pm forever, but any time in the day will do) where you just stop whatever you are doing and reflect on everything you are grateful for.
No matter how bad a day you’re having, there’s always something you should be grateful for– and if you don’t believe me, just think of the last time you had a toothache or a pimple on your face, and you looked back in longing when you didn’t have that problem.
And if you have a job that you really hate– when you think about it, isn’t there someone there that you complain to, hang out with, is your friend? There is always something to be grateful [for] — we just need to stop and realize it.
Q: What inspired you to start Mincha Moment?
A: I have produced a number of documentaries dealing with issues of faith and religious rituals, and it dawned on me that there had to be a reason for all the praying that was going on! And so I thought about what I believed to be the core of most of the prayers — and it was about giving thanks, thanking God.
And I started to think about the origins of these prayers– and decided that eons ago, a whole bunch of guys figured out that if we don’t make time to give thanks every day, we really won’t stop and appreciate all that we have.
Q: How has practicing gratitude affected your life?
A: I think it continually brings me perspective. It’s always easy to get down, get bummed out about something. Life is always filled with ups and downs, and sometimes the downs seem relentless and it’s hard to feel very grateful for anything.
But imagine if your parents had passed away, or you didn’t have your apartment, or you had no money for food, or you had no food or television. Or worse yet, that you found out that you were ill– the small problems that seem so large today would seem like mere wrinkles if you were confronted with some really difficult issues.
Q: What are several other ways you suggest readers practice gratitude?
A: Feel free not to limit yourself to only one moment a day!
Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know about gratitude or Mincha Moment?
A: We have a tendency to put things off- so we’ll say sure, I’ll be grateful later, or I’ll stop what I’m doing after I finish (fill in the blank_____ lunch, my nails, this report!) but then we’re not.
Set a very specific time– and stick to it. No matter what. No matter what you are doing.
My husband stops on the golf course, we stop our meetings, we stop in the middle of a late lunch– everyone we know stops along with us. Just think– if everyone would stop at 2:30 pm and take a moment to be thankful, I guarantee the world would be a much better place!
Thanks, Debra, for the interview! Learn more about Debra and her work here.
Also, check out this great video on gratitude at Mincha Moment.
What’s one thing you’re really grateful for?
Tartakovsky, M. (2013). A Simple But Powerful Way To Practice Gratitude: Q&A With Debra Gonsher Vinik. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 19, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2012/10/a-simple-but-powerful-way-to-practice-gratitude-qa-with-debra-gonsher-vinik/