You may have heard of the idea of keeping a gratitude journal. I have tweaked the format and finally found a style that works for me. It focuses not only on the external things that you feel thankful for and appreciative of, but also the things you did that you are proud of and happy about. It doesn’t require filling in every day, and you don’t have to think up a set number of things.
A bit like the concept of yin and yang, this version of the gratitude journal allows space for being grateful for the active and the passive – things that happen to us and the things we made happen. It can be particularly powerful if you tend to focus on your shortcomings rather than celebrating the wins, or you struggle with feeling powerful. It reorients you to celebrating the small and kind or brave things that you did as well as noticing the abundance and good fortune in your life.
Wins this week:
– I’m really pleased that I called Susan back even though it was a hard call to make
– Proud of myself for sticking to my plan for writing my book
– I was super patient with the kids even though I was tired
– Self-care – went for a massage! Yah me!
Grateful for this week:
– This beautiful sunny weather and an afternoon spent in the park
– The gift that arrived in the mail from Aunty Dorris – she is so sweet to always remember our birthday’s
– Clean water – that documentary about those kids made me feel really sad and made me realize how much I take for granted
– That woman who gave me her seat on the bus when I had all the shopping bags to carry
· Try to focus just on those things that come up with clear feelings attached to them – don’t let your mind make a lit of everything you ‘should’ feel grateful for
· I do it in a small journal dedicated to just this, and use the LHS for ‘wins’ and the RHS for ‘grateful for’.
· I use a double page spread each week and just jot things into it when I get a moment, or am moved to.
· I keep it in my everyday handbag
· Those spare moments before your drink arrives at a café, when you’re early to a seated event, or while you’re waiting for a friend to join you – fish out the gratitude journal and fill it out rather than reading social media. Take a few breaths before you start writing and cast your mind back over the day or week.
· New week = new double page spread
· Weeks with very short lists will remind you to reorient yourself towards filling it out more often.
Over time it subtly shifts focus towards recognizing the supportive elements in the world that helped you do what you set out to do, and the inner attributes that also contribute to your good fortune.
Good for: increasing a sense of abundance, building self-confidence and overall appreciation
If you would like more tips for journaling please download my free e-book ’25 fresh ways to get your thoughts and feelings on paper’. Click on the image below to access.