When you continuously express things you are grateful for, it trains your brain to begin focusing on things you like about your life instead of the things you don't.
Often times depression stems from a routine of negative thoughts so a gratitude journal re-programs your mind to think more positively. Your outlook on life will change.
I tried gratitude journals several times in my life, but didn't experience any benefit because I didn't stick with it. In order to receive the benefits from a gratitude journal you need to keep one everyday for at least two weeks. You should also write down at least 5 items each day.
It's also important to do it even when you feel bad. In fact, that's when it's most beneficial. You will begin to see that even on your bad days, you always have something to be grateful for.
You'll also notice that as you continue to keep a journal, you'll start finding more and more to write about. I started out writing 5 things but as time went on, my list kept getting longer and longer.
Here it goes, the five things I'm grateful for today:
That was harder than I thought it would be....1-3 rolled right out of my brain but I had to sit here and think about the rest. We'll see how tomorrow goes since I've used up the easy ones.
- My family-I know that sounds so cliche but I cannot imagine my life without my husband and four wonderful kids. Yes they make my life crazy but in the course of the day at least one of them does one thing that makes me smile or laugh. If I was single with no children, who would make me smile and laugh?
- My job- Without giving away too much personal information I'll just say that I love my job. It doesn't pay the best, but I love what I do and they are flexible when it comes to my children.
- My house- I grew up living in roach infested dumps. I don't live in a mansion now, but it is a nice home with moderately nice things and my children are not spoiled but they have more than what I had growing up.
- My Best friend "K"- I have to admit that my best friend is a guy, I know that's not normal but it is what it is. K is there whenever I need to talk about anything good or bad. I feel comfortable telling K most things that bother me and he does not judge. I have to remember that not everyone has a friend you can truly trust most of your secrets with.
- My health- Other than allergies and the occasional sinus infection, oh yeah and occasionally feeling depressed, all in all I don't have any major illness that puts me out of commission. Don't get me wrong depression is a serious disease, but what I have is mild, so my health could be worse when you really think about it.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I cannot believe I almost forgot to do one of the things from my list, ok so I can believe I almost forgot, that's how I roll. This website that mentions a Gratitude Journal I really like the paragraph they wrote about the idea so I'm going to share it.