Keeping A Gratitude Journal

journal, tea, pencil, iPadHere is a very simple and widely used practice that can help you become more tuned into the many things you already have that you value and even treasure. Doing it will expand your sense of happiness and well being and produce noticeable effects in just a week or so: keep a gratitude journal! It only takes a few moments.

A common approach is to reflect each evening on your day, or on your life more generally, and note five things you feel grateful for. These things can be seemingly very small or quite remarkable. Examples of simpler things: a favorite song suddenly airing as you sat in traffic, an unexpected message from an old friend, a coworker helping with a task, your child doing something without your having to ask, a parking space appearing just when you need it, watching a playful puppy on a walk, something you learned, feeling and saying I love you or I’m sorry to someone ….. Examples of general things are something about your home, your car or your family you like, qualities or skills you have, aspects of your personality or your child’s personality, and even noticing that you have hands that do so much for you, or legs that are strong. You might also note something about the astonishing world in which we live, noticing minute or grand things in nature or the cosmos.

Jot each down as you think of it. A few short words or a longer reflection, whichever you prefer. Journals can be in any format you like: an antique-looking book of pages in which you write, or a memo format on an electronic device. You can add doodles, sketches, photos, pictures or quotes if you like, or keep it a simple quick list.

The journal draws your attention to what you already have, to your personal strengths and assets and to the flow of nice things that come during the day and that we tend not to notice much or that we take for granted.

If you would like to keep an on-line journal, there are several available. One is at A Network for Grateful Living, where you will also find a wealth of warm, interesting, supportive information about living gratefully.