I used to roll my eyes at the idea of a gratitude journal and as someone who is old enough to remember when Oprah’s show first came on the air, I had many years of eye rolling!
I still don’t keep a gratitude journal but I do have a daily gratitude practice. Once I got over myself and figured out how to make this practice work for me…I was hooked.
My practice takes a few different forms and they look a little something like this:
- Every night as I’m laying in bed I come up with at least 3 things I’m grateful for that day. I bring them to mind, let them make me smile and try to make my last thoughts before sleep be good ones. (This one is a non-negotiable and has been a consistent practice for a couple of years.)
- I recently added a grateful thought in the morning. Instead of the usual wake up thought of “I’m tired, I’m cold, where’s the freaking snooze button?” I consciously think about something good – maybe my comfortable bed, a warm shower or a project for the day – so that I can start my day on a positive note. (Some days I still forget to do this but I’m working on creating this habit.)
- When I’m feeling stressed, overwhelmed or anxious; I connect to gratitude in the simplest way possible. I’m grateful I’m breathing, I’m grateful I’m healthy – whatever feels accessible in that moment to ground myself. (This one is an as-needed practice that comes in super handy.)
Since I’ve been doing these things I notice that I’m better able to stay grounded. Whether it’s a stressful conversation with a loved one or a big speaking engagement, I’m operating from a more grounded place in general and my capacity to handle the curve balls of life has noticeably increased.
If you’re like me and you’ve been rolling your eyes at the idea of a gratitude journal, or a gratitude practice in general, I get it…AND I encourage you to give it a try this week. It really is as powerful as people say.