Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gratitude Journaling

I woke up extra early this morning for some reason and when I couldn't get back to sleep decided to come downstairs and write for awhile. I pulled out my gratitude journal. When I neglect it, I can feel I need it. I needed it this morning.

We know that gratitude journaling makes a person happier. If you start making note of three things you're thankful for every day, you'll be happier in six months. I find myself happier almost instantly.

I'm blessed to be a pretty happy person - one of the great gifts my mother gave me. People comment regularly on how I'm always cheery, positive and upbeat. Truth be told, on the inside, I'm a bit prone to melancholy. But I just learned a long time ago that it doesn't serve me well so I make a conscious effort to be the opposite of sad.

One of the tools that helps me a great deal is a gratitude journal. I have so, so much to be thankful for. And jotting it down seems to make it more real.

I'm fortunate that I've been doing this sort of thing for so many years - although not in the form of a gratitude journal - that happiness has become second nature to me. I no longer have to "train" myself to think that way. But at times it is necessary to bolster myself.

I've been using this same book for 10 years. So, you can tell, I don't do it every day. But as I look back through it I can remember specific days from just the few words written there. At times I write in it for a few days in a row, then may put it aside for weeks or months.

Now when I look back through it there are names of people who aren't in my life anymore. But I was thankful enough for them then that they're recorded on those pages, and now I'm thankful for the experience of having known them. It makes one wonder what names will be in the remaining empty pages by the time they're filled.

That's a wonderful metaphor for life - what will fill the empty pages.

No comments: