Ok, ok, ok!
I know you’re thinking…
Oh, no, not someone else banging on about keeping a gratitude journal!
But bear with me here please. I promise, it will be worth your time.
I first came across the concept of keeping a gratitude journal about five years ago. Obviously, I’d read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (heck, I even bought the DVD to put on when I needed to raise my vibe) – find out all about it here:
And so the idea of being thankful and taking time out of my day to write it down in black and white made sense to me. It was the first thing I did once the children had gone to school and I prepared to get on with my writing and/or work. I’d light a candle or an incense stick, grab my special pen and notebook and get in the gratitude zone.
After a while I got complacent and started treating this exercise like a chore. Then I gave up altogether. It was taking up a good 10-minute chunk of my already busy schedule and I decided I could just speak my thanks out loud to the universe while I was doing something else. Yes, you’ve guessed it, after a while, I stopped doing this too.
Recently, however, a few things have give me a big old reality check, so I’ve decided to pick up my gratitude habit again. It’s so easy to think about everything that’s going wrong and sing the ‘Woe is Me and Ten Times Woe’ song but what good does that do? Nothing! In fact, if the universe brings you more of what you focus on you really DON’T want to be dwelling on the bad stuff.
What’s really nice about re-establishing this gratitude habit is the peace it gives me. I’m looking at this exercise positively. It’s boosting my mood. I’m creating a special time and place to write down my thanks. And I’m really embracing that whole gratitude attitude.
Restarting my gratitude journaling has opened my eyes in a big way, particularly since a couple of recent events have literally (and physically) stopped me in my tracks and made me take a long hard look at my life and how much I take for granted.
Hopefully my insights will help you too.
Going through the motions of gratitude journaling just won’t cut it.
My previous experience of gratitude journaling – ie, when I looked on it as a ‘chore’ – I can even remember writing down my list in shorthand. Yes, shorthand. Well, I was still giving thanks, right? Wrong! Because I wasn’t feeling it in my heart and soul, the whole gratitude journaling was actually a farce. I was a hypocrite.
Lesson learned: pour some emotion into your gratitude journaling and it will keep your vibe higher for longer.
Trying to shortcut gratitude-giving (ie speaking your thanks aloud) doesn’t have the same effect.
Yes, we’re all busy. Yes, we have lots of plates to spin. But it’s only when a big, fat reality check makes us stand up and look at our lives from a different standpoint that we truly appreciate how much we have to be grateful for.
Lesson learned: investing ten minutes a day to give thanks for the house we live in, the food in our bellies, the good night’s sleep we’ve had, and the health of our families is a minuscule ask. Don’t wait until the universe needs to step in and show you what really matters. Be grateful every day.
Adding the finer detail to our gratitude journals evokes all kinds of emotions that can only bring more happiness.
The more time you spend giving thanks for everything in your life, the more this ritual will impact positively on your life. If you feel like you’re just going through the motions (like I used to) then try adding more details to your journal. For example, don’t just give thanks that you’ve had a good night’s sleep. Give thanks that you’ve been able to buy such a comfortable bed, have heating in your bedroom, and/or even a quiet enough mind to let you enjoy a calm night’s sleep.
The finer detail you can add to your gratitude, the more impact it will have on your positive vibes. I know some people who have actually cried while writing their gratitude list – this kind of emotion is super powerful and is a great way of giving you a reality check when you need it.
Lesson learned: give detailed thanks for something or someone because the deeper you can dig, the more emotions it will spark. You’ll reach a point where you’ll find yourself smiling the whole time you’re writing – what better way to start the day than with a smile?
Even the busiest of people should make a gratitude journaling habit because it really does have the power to change lives.
I’ve been creating lots of gratitude journals lately because I want to spread the practice of giving gratitude around the globe – you can find them all for sale on Amazon.
The Gratitude Journal for Busy Mums
The Gratitude Journal for Busy Dads
The Gratitude Journal for Fabulous Midlifers
The Gratitude Journal for Fabulous Grandmas
Gratitude Journal for Fabulous Grandads
The Gratitude Journal for Fabulous Teachers
The Gratitude Journal for Fabulous Golfers
(INCLUDING HEALERS, LAY PREACHERS, REIKI MASTERS, WRITERS & AUTHORS!)
Give the gift of gratitude journaling the next time you’re looking an extra special present that will stand out from the rest. And remember, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Don’t wait for the universe to remind you.
What are your thoughts on keeping a gratitude journal? Share them with us.