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How an English Gratitude Journal Helps Motivation and Fluency
Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Deep Thoughts Thursday, Episode 99: “How an English Gratitude Journal Helps Motivation and Fluency.” [Instrumental]
Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation with your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel,’ from Boston, USA.
Lindsay: In today’s episode, you’ll learn how to uplift your heart, rewire your brain, and improve your English all in one cool activity.
Gabby: Hey, Lindsay. What’s up?
Lindsay: Hey, Gabby. I’m doing well. And you?
Gabby: I’m doing great ‘cause (because) I heard we got some excellent reviews from Brazil.
Lindsay: Oh, my gosh. We got some amazing reviews and we’re so happy about those. Thank you so much to Fernanda for your great voice review, your audio review. Thank you to Perezesf7, Carlos Avelin, thank you, he’s here in Boston, Carlos B, Daniel Henker, Saulo and Rafael Paz. We really need your reviews, guys. The reviews help us to keep this show up in the rankings and to keep All Ears English moving forward and to – so that we can keep publishing for you.
Gabby: Yeah, thanks. So please leave us a review. We appreciate it. And yeah, without further ado, we wanna (want to), we wanna (want to) introduce a new topic today for our ‘Deep Thoughts Thursday’ about how keeping a gratitude journal can really improve your English. So, Lindsay’s been doing this and Lindsay could you tell us what a gratitude journal is? First of all, what’s the idea, what does it mean?
Lindsay: Absolutely. So gratitude is all the rage these days, isn’t it? Everyone’s talking about it in, in mindfulness, in the newspapers and the, the idea of reflecting on what you’re grateful for, what you’re thankful for is such a healthy practice. So you could do this in English in a journal or you could do it, (you know), (um) through voice, by talking with people.
Gabby: Oh, I like that.
Gabby: It’s like positive psychology, too. You’re fo – focusing on the good, the positive.
Lindsay: It’s got a little bit of that. I actually started a gratitude practice with my parents last week, two weeks ago. We’ve started doing a three-way e-mail every evening. We each write what we’re thankful for to each other. So it’s the process of thinking, reflecting, letting your brain soak that in…
Gabby: Yeah. Lindsay: …what you’re thankful for. And then hearing what the other people are thankful for. That’s another way to do it.
Gabby: I absolutely adore that idea because it’s not only a great way to improve your language. (Uh), let’s pretend you’re studying English.
Gabby: But it’s not only a good way to practice your language, it’s also a great way to uplift your psyche and your mentality and, (you know), avoid any negative depression and above all else what you’re doing with this e-mail, (um), gratitude journal with your parents is to deepen the connection that you have with people you love. So you guys, if you know other, (you know), friends, family members that are (um) learning English or who already speak English and who would join you on this gratitude journal journey
Gabby: …(um), or you wanna (want to) ask your new friends if they might be interested in doing this. This is an awesome way to connect with people on a deeper level and really establish those, those close relationships that you, you desire.
Lindsay: Exactly. And this isn’t all just woo-woo, right?
Lindsay: This is real. I love that term.
Lindsay: Because this is science, guys. (Um), (you know), I, I study mindfulness and meditation and it’s – but it’s coming up in the science at the same time these days.
Lindsay: I found an article in the New York Times of, from November of 2011, called “A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day.” So sci – neuroscientists are finding out that reflecting on what you’re grateful and thankful for actually changes the wiring of your brain.
Lindsay: That will change your brain physically.
Gabby: I believe it.
Lindsay: Yeah. So in terms of English learning, if you – I know that a lot of English learners kinda (kind of) struggle with self-confidence and feeling selfconscious. So this is another way you could use this. If you’re in any given situation and you’re afraid to approach someone or you’ve just made a mistake, instead of going and blaming yourself for that mistake you could go ahead and think, ‘Oh, I’m so glad that I had this opportunity to practice.’
Gabby: Or, ‘What did I do well?’ Yeah.
Lindsay: ‘What did I do well in this conversation?’ Or, ‘I’m so thankful for my English tutor…’
Lindsay: …or what else?
Gabby: Well, yeah, (I mean) you could specifically use your English gratitude journal to talk about what you’re happy about in your English studies (like), I love my teacher, I love my classmates, I love that I’m doing my homework. I love All Ears English!
Lindsay: Right. Very simple things.
Gabby: But, (you know), you can, you can talk about anything that is going well in your life. It doesn’t have to be only English. But if you write this in English with other people in English that will be really a deep way to learn and practice.
Lindsay: Yeah. So just go ahead and give this a try. If, if it seems like something that you’d be into…
Lindsay: …and let us know how it goes. Come back to our website and leave a comment in the blog post and let us know how your gratitude practice helped your language learning and how it helped you feel better.
Gabby: Yeah. Just as a kind of a bonus (uh) one last word before we end. There’s a lot of different ways you could do this. You mentioned e-mail with your parents. You could do it by text. You could do it with (uh) a number of different apps that people use to text internationally. (Um), you could do it on a voice recorder.
Gabby: (Uh) there’s a lot of different websites like (um), what was it? (Uh), there’s, there’s (there are) different video sharing websites you could use.
Lindsay: Like vsnap.com.
Gabby: That’s the one I was thinking of.
Gabby: That’s right. (Um), and then you can share them with a group. So there’s a lot of different formats for doing this. And, (you know), if you don’t wanna (want to) do it socially that’s okay just make your own journal, (um), electronically or on paper.
Lindsay: Yeah. So just find a technology or the way of expressing that’s comfortable for you and give it a try. Let us know how it works. Thanks, guys.
Gabby: If you love All Ears English and you want to seriously improve to the advanced native-like level of English, we made a premium subscription package for you with more support. What do you get? You get audio and text transcripts of each new episode when they’re released. You get practical learning tips every week. You get an exclusive subscriber’s version of our e-book, “How to Improve Your English with a Podcast,” and you get all the previous text transcripts, Episodes 1 through 88 and you guys can ask direct questions. You can communicate directly with Lindsay and myself, Gabby, to ask any question about English. So it’s a huge value.
You can find that subscription package on our website at allearsenglish.com/conversations, that’s c-o-n-v-e-r-s-a-t-i-o-n-s. See you there!
Lindsay: If you want to put your ears into English more often, be sure to subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on your computer or on your smartphone. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time.
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