I first stumbled upon a ‘gratitude journal’ in late November 2018 as I was doing some online shopping. I was looking for a children’s question and answer book for my first born child, Stella (boy does she have some good answers), and I came across a gratitude journal. At the time, mindfulness was already at the forefront of my everyday, it was something I had been reflecting on as my life had recently become increasingly busy having been on maternity leave for a year and starting re-entry into the workforce.
The thought of adding a gratitude journal to my daily life intrigued me. What was I truly grateful for? What positive forces bring true joy and happiness to my day-to-day? What personal achievements am I most proud of? How can I work to reduce harmful stressors from my life? My gratitude journal starts with a short conceptual introduction followed by a personalized section for the reader to fill out template questions. The questions are about the people in your life that you are grateful for, the ones that support you, build you up and nurture your dreams. In another section of the journal, your to build a gratitude board, I also used a section to build a mindfulness board.
Everyday I write down three things I am grateful for- they can be big, they can be small, simple or complex- no rhyme or reason just three things that I am grateful for. Some days it’s simple and my three items are written down before my coffee break, other days I have to reach deep down to feel gratitude, and that’s okay too.
But, as days passed by, the one thing I began to notice is the things or people that really annoyed and upset me in the morning, were the very things I added to my gratitude list later that day. Weird right? How could I be grateful for someone or something that drove me absolutely mad earlier in the day? Mindfulness and being present at every moment, before and after, would lead me to reflect more fully on issues or circumstances. I have become grateful for the increased laughter, deeper reflection and more fulsome lessons that I learned.
The gratitude journal has changed my perspective on so many things in life. It goes hand-in-hand with mindfulness and really forces me to be more conscious of my emotions and impacts my choices (even the trivial ones) make to my daily life. I’m curious – what are you grateful for?