As I look around the room, I notice many things books on the shelves, stack of CDs, good lighting photographs of beloved family members. I also feel the warmth from the central heating, taste the tale end of a piece of Thorntons Chocolate, hear the relaxings sounds of Chopin from the speaker, I appreciate and am grateful for all these things and more, the beautiful sunshine streaming through my window during the last few weeks (not today though), laughter with friends, tickets for a show I’m seeing in February and feeling healthy and also content. But I haven’t always felt like this.
In the late 90s I found myself out of work for four years, I was told just before I was made redundant that I would get depressed (How nice!) for the first three years that didn’t happen but the last year it hit me bang, no work, no future, no hope. No amount of praying seemed to help, eventually I prayed Lord show me your goodness.
Around the end of August of 2000 I happened to turn on the TV and Oprah Winfrey was doing her show and the topic was on gratitude. I knew this was speaking to me, she shared about composing a gratitude journal, which I decided to start myself it seemed there were some great results in doing so, which I will get to later. I actually started the blog on 25 October of that year, I’ll just share a piece from Fri 27 October 2000. “Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the beautiful sunset on my way home all the oranges across the sky and the pink strips before hand” etc. I won’t put the rest of that piece it may just overwhelm those less spiritually inclined, and I don’t want to do that here. I kept that up fairly regularly up to July of 2001, not always daily but regularly. During that time I had a new carpet on a good deal, started to feel joy, discovered I had an interview then got a job!!! The depression had also gone, amongst other things.
From time to time I’ve started writing in that journal and at the beginning of the year I started a 365 daily gratitude/positive/good report about my day.
Here’s what I’ve discovered in producing a gratitude journal.
1 It gives you perspective
When circumstances are bad it forces you to look for the good, you find as time goes on things are just drawn to your attention the good things people and events in your life that are GOOD.
I personally think it’s a law of attraction good things just seem to draw themselves to you including people,.
3 Negativity is fleeting
You tend to focus less on the negative and you can’t handle having it being around for long. I don’t recommend burying your head in the sand that is quite frankly has great consequences. But it means those negative things don’t seem as huge and impossible.
4 You appreciate the small stuff
You appreciate even the littlest of things like finding something you have lost , or you managed to get something from the shop you needed before they ran out.
5 People are impacted by your positive attitude and appreciation of life
This is the best thing of all I think, this affects others, if you are positive it not only affects other people but infects them as well, they start to respond to your outlook and may even behave likewise.
I’ve also discovered its actually harder to write something positive on a good day, because the good things don’t stand out so clearly on a generally good or non happening day, it’s on the bad days the good seems accentuated.
If you are inspired to produce a gratitude journal or daily facebook post on things to be thankful for here are some tips.
- Don’t fret about doing it daily, regularity is the key
- Reread old entries
- Notice your mood and perspective change over time
- Read other peoples gratitude entries, they can inspire you.
- If you can’t think of one thing to be thankful for just remember where there’s breathin your body there is always hope.
I hope this page gives you something to think about and a little cheer to your day. And Thank You for reading this blog post it’s much appreciated :).