It’s this time of year when Americans tend to stop to give thanks. But shouldn’t this be a practice all year round?
Over a year ago, I started writing in a gratitude journal nearly every day. I have filled over five and a half journals now. It has changed my life.
We’ve all heard people brag, “I’m a glass-half-full kind of person!”
I’ve never been that person.
Somewhere along the way, I learned how to think of the negative. Only the negative. I learned how to put myself down even though I would never treat anyone else I know that way. I’d think of something wrong in my life, which caused me to think of something else related, which in turn snowballed until I convinced myself that my life was a complete mess.
Why couldn’t I think of anything positive?!
It was because I wasn’t accustomed to it. I didn’t know how. I didn’t know where to start. Even if I thought of something positive, my first instinct was to think of something negative to contradict it.
Pretty sad, isn’t it?
That was until I read The Magic by Rhonda Byrne.
I wanted to change the way I was thinking. I wanted to be happier. So I adopted the practice of keeping a gratitude journal.
Every day, I write in it ten things for which I’m grateful and why. That way, I can truly feel it.
Yes, some days it’s still tough, especially if I’m going through a difficult time. But there are so many simple things we tend to overlook. There are simple things that we feel entitled to that we all take for granted sometimes. Like these.
No matter what, I can always come up with something to add to my journal.
And then, you know what?
The gratitude is what snowballs!
Generally speaking, the more I write, the easier it becomes.
But will it ever become natural for me? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that this practice reminds me on a daily basis of what is truly important.
I’d always heard that attitude is everything. I was the one to roll my eyes when people said that to me. I thought it was just cliché. I didn’t truly understand what it meant. All of those people knew something I didn’t. I didn’t know how to change my attitude. And other people telling me to just made me angry.
But I do now.
The practice of writing in my gratitude journal daily forces me to think of all of the positives in my life, which in turn changes my attitude, and in turn makes me happier.
Since I’m expressing my gratitude every day in my journal, maybe Thanksgiving should be the day that I skim through those past journals and let the joy overflow.
How do you express gratitude?