I know…I am posting this a little early, but I have a ton to share with you in the next couple days. August Project 12, where we are doing things that make us feel ALIVE, in mind/body/spirit, a recap of my Tennessee trip, and some recipes using Coleman’s Mustard. (I am actually going to do a little TV segment on that!)
July Project 12 was pretty awsome and I think it deserved a post by itself! This month I kept a gratitude journal, and I am HIGHLY recommending it. Keeping a journal, taking the time to actually write things down, or maybe the entire experience of gratitude—is really about forcing ourselves to pay attention to the good things in life we otherwise take for granted.
Day one was pretty awesome…Don’t be fooled. My daughter helped me compile a list of items that made an appearance that seemed pretty silly. (But I am still grateful for these!)
1. gel pens
3. flip flops
4. fuzzy socks
6. Carrots- see picture below. I forgot a fork at the pool…I made chopsticks out of carrots. So, yes! I was grateful for carrots that day!
When is the last time you sat down and really took stock of the good things in life? It’s hard to keep a positive outlook, especially when it seems like something worse has happened every time you turn on the news. When each day seems to bring another tragedy, how can you keep smiling and moving forward? The answer is : YOU JUST DO. 🙂
If you take just five to ten minutes per day reflecting on what’s beautiful in life and writing it down, you’ll find the benefits reach far into other areas of your life.
Keep a gratitude journal makes you happier.
Recognizing the things in life you are thankful for, whether they are of the physical variety… like my cup of coffee, or the sensual variety (having the job of your dreams!), will make you more conscious of the parts of life that make you smile.
A gratitude journal can make you healthier.
Tons of studies have been performed that show keeping a gratitude journal can actually increase your physical health. This is most likely due to the stress reducing benefits; when you’re happier, you don’t worry as much over minor issues. Just imagine what you could do if you slept better at night and had more energy?
People are drawn to you.
Who do you prefer to spend time around: someone who is depressed, or someone who is full of life and energy? DUH. Keeping a gratitude journal will increase your own self confidence and sense of worth, which will attract people around you. When you’re grateful, you’re more social and appreciative of your friends and family.
A gratitude journal teaches self discipline.
One of the biggest struggles writers (like me!) deal with is the ability to sit down and put pen to paper, even when they don’t feel like it. This was huge for me. Starting off slow makes it easier. A gratitude journal can have a double-whammy effect in this case, teaching you to be thankful for what you have while also making you learn to discipline yourself to do a task for a few minutes at a time. It’s a great way to learn self control for any aspect of your life. Yes. I am 37 with a lack of self-control.
Gratitude makes you feel good.
The feeling of happy contentment is something most people only feel on certain occasions, but gratitude can change that. With gratitude, you can feel happy and content all the time. One of the world’s leading researchers on gratitude’s effects, Dr. Robert Emmons, believes that gratitude is simply happiness you recognize at a later date.
Give this a try for a week, two, or even a whole month and let me know how you feel. Keep it simple…what are you thankful for?