This year I started a gratitude journal. There is no doubt about it, when I first started scribbling down the five things I felt grateful for I felt a little silly. Then I started to run out of ideas. Thinking to myself whether anyone would mind if I put down ‘New Boots’ as the number one reason to be feeling grateful. The reason I am writing about it is because I think it has made a little shift in my mindset that I am for. Oh to be grateful of the gratitude journal!
Each night before I go to sleep it is like pressing the reset button. Maybe it was walking through crunchy leaves or maybe it is because I have created a flexible job around my children. No matter how big or small, writing it down, giving it a real place to be noted and thankful for has helped me feel more positive.
The trick is to try and notice all the magical stuff that lives right there in the ordinary moments. The things that you get to do, that maybe are being taken for granted that are actually kind of wonderful. I think one of the things I always take for granted is walking the dog. When it is cold and dark and I don’t want to go. However I always come back with a clearer mind, a happier dog and a higher number on my step count. I would miss it if we didn’t have a dog or I wasn’t well enough to do it and I know that. So each day when I’m out, with a busy mind unwilling to switch off, I have been thinking about what I could write in my journal. It makes me look around and take it in.
How To Start A Journal
01. Have a set time to journal. Giving yourself an allotted time to really think about your day and how you are feeling. There is something about being mindful just before bed that I love, however giving yourself time to do this as you wake up would also put you in a good mood for the day.
02. Great prompts are things like ‘Who was I kind to today?’ ‘What made me smile’ ‘What couldn’t I be without’ I find these are also great prompts for conversation starters when I pick the boys up from school. I try to avoid ‘What did you do today’ as they never know but if I ask ‘what made you laugh today’ they always have a story to tell. (and often those stories end up in my journal too)
03. Going into detail about something you are grateful for has more value than a list of superficial things. Really focus on what it is that lifts you. Often focusing on people rather than things helps motivate me to stay positive too.
04. Focus on simplicity. I limit myself to just 3-5 things each day to write down but often I find that it could just be one thing. One truly wonderful thing that maybe I do everyday but wouldn’t want to be without.
05. Buy a pretty book and colourful pens!