A lot of times I'm so overwhelmed the healthiest thing I can do it hit the delete key.
But a few months ago, I clicked through to an article about cultivating an attitude of gratitude (I don't remember which one, but I suspect it was very like this one from the website Mind Body Green).
For some reason, the idea of a gratitude journal struck me as an easy activity to help me remember my blessings, big and small. To remind myself that the moment might be tough, but my life overall is rich and abundant.
I started out very hit or miss, letting time elapse between entries. Before too long, though, I developed an addictive daily habit. I now place my journal on my pillow after making the bed each morning and when it's time to go to sleep, like a magnet, my hand shoots to the journal, eager to jot down the moments of grace that helped me make it through the day. To keep it simple, I stick to three items (but with room for wiggling for additions when the spirit moves me). I try to make people and events my focus, over things (but things do count!).
A bonus gratitude feedback loop: Occasionally I tell folks they've made an appearance in the pages of my journal and why. Letting them know what they mean to me gives them a little boost, which makes me smile, which makes me grateful all over again that they are in my life. Score!
A sample entry might look like:
- I am grateful for the shared laughter of my R8 peeps, Candy, Evie, Lisa, Marjanna, Misha, and Nichole.
- I am grateful for the midday walk and talk with my coworker, Rachel.
- I am grateful for the sound of joyful cathedral bells serenading my afternoon work.
How about you? Do you count your blessings instead of sheep? What three things are you grateful for today?