I am pretty sure a lot of you will know what I am writing about, but for those who are unfamiliar with the topic, I am going to give a brief explanation. A Gratitude Journal is a technique generally used in self-development and happiness programs; it consists of taking something to write on (it could be a notebook, a sheet of paper, your phone, a social network, anything through which you can express yourself). Once you have found your canvas to write on, this is when the fun begins.
Generally a Gratitude Journal is a fixed task which challenges people to write every day three things they are grateful for, often at the end of their day. But this is your choice: you can decide to write on it once a week instead of every day, listing five things rather than three, because the great thing about it is that it is entirely up to you and to what makes YOU feel better and happier.
Now that we have clarified what it consists of, the hardest past comes in, and it is usually what most people struggle with when they start this project: “What can I write about?”. Often people create a Gratitude Journal thinking that it should be full of enormous good things happened during that day. What they usually don’t realize is that there is no need for those things to be huge; they can be as small as a cup of coffee, a hug, a smile. The purpose of this Journal is not to look for big moments in your day, but to search those tiny events that have made you feel a lot better.
To give you some examples, here are some things I sometimes write in my Journal:
– I’m grateful for cuddling with my boyfriend
– I’m grateful for being welcomed home by my dogs
– I’m grateful for passing a tough exam at university
– I’m grateful for the warm bed while it’s cold outside
– I’m grateful for watching a new episode of Grey’s Anatomy
As you can see, apart from the exam, all the other elements are simple, small things that made me happier during a regular day. These are the events that we most have to learn to appreciate and savour.
You might still have doubts, and ask: “What benefits do I get from this?”. I can assure you that if you make it an habit and constantly look for three happy moments (or how many you want) to be grateful for, in the long run you will start to see how your outlook on life will change. You will start to feel happier and then something fun will happen: every day, whenever something will make you smile, you will find yourself thinking: “I will add it to my Gratitude Journal tonight”, and this thought will make you ever more joyful.
So this is my challenge for you: it doesn’t matter if you are the happiest person on Earth (or the saddest), just give it a try. Find what works best for you and rock this new habit. If writing things down is not your cup of tea, then try typing your gratitude on your laptop. If you are attracted to colours, try to use a bright notebook to write on. The key is to find what suits you, and then the rest will come.
If you decide to try this technique, let me know, and we can share our experience. Moreover, I will also be glad to help you with some motivation if you are having troubles with sticking to your habit. Until next time, I wish you all the happy life you deserve.
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