You getting weary?
Here’s a quick fix! I read my Gratitude Journal whenever I need a lift!
A Gratitude Journal can just be a document on your desktop of your computer, that you write on every Sunday, for example. Or a list on your fridge or bulletin board that you try to jot on daily. As a title I have written at the top, “What am I grateful for today?”
The point is that being thankful is “good medicine”—it helps you put your problems into perspective and moves you in the right direction of trying to focus on what is going well in your life or on simple comforts. We are used to making “to do” lists that require our energy and work to accomplish. But making a list of what we appreciate, what is pleasant for us, requires no effort on our part other than recognizing happiness. It is a very positive experience.
To make an entry, I write the date and then number 1 to 4 on the lines below. Then I consider what I am truly grateful for and jot it down, just by keyword or phrase. I don’t read any of the other entries first, but try to use my own original thoughts at the moment and make my entries unique. I try to choose something besides the obvious (my family, my house, my car, my health, my freedom, etc.) Children may find it more fun to draw their 4 choices, rather than write them. Moms may find that more fun too! See my watercolor journal here!
This little exercise doesn’t take much time, but it makes a huge difference in my outlook. Reading back over a few entries—after I’ve written —I am always amazed that my gratitude is prompted by such simple things. Here are a few random examples, looking back in my Gratitude Journal:
1. A wispy cloud next to the mountain.
2. I am not ill.
3. The daffodils are blooming
4. My new grandbaby!
1. The morning is cool and the rooster is crowing.
2. There is an abundance of inspiring religious art and music in this day,
compared to the time I grew up in.
3. Louisa cleaned my bedroom for a surprise!
4. Carpeting that is so soft and such a pretty color of green
1. Time to sit and rest.
2. My laptop computer that makes life so easy
3. My wonderfully naturally curly hair
4. Fire and how it comforts me (candles)
Of course, there are days when I feel hard-pressed to come up with even just one thing to be grateful for! I know that sounds absurd to even say, living in America with so many freedoms and privileges and luxuries. This is an especially good exercise for me on those days. I have listed such simple things as “oranges” in my Gratitude Journal. When problems weigh you down, perhaps that is the only thing you can identify to appreciate!
And there are the days that you find it difficult to stop at #4. That helps too. It helps in reading back to see that life is up and down, and when you are feeling low, seeing that pattern helps you have hope and know that you’ll have “overflowing blessings” days in the future.
There’s another reason for keeping this journal. Think how well your children or grandchildren—and generations unborn—will we be able to see right down into your heart and life in a positive light through your Gratitude Journal!
Once you get in the habit, you’ll find everyone’s attitude improves when looking for things to appreciate!
May I recommend: