Yeah, sure we’re all very thankful. Are we? When was the last time you were actually, out loud, thankful for something? We teach our children to say “please” and “thank you” (some people prefer the more succinct “please and thank you”, but its not my fave, and does not ring genuine), but do we teach them to truly BE thankful for what they receive? Are WE truly thankful for what we receive?
My yoga instructor, the amazing Asia Nelson, challenged me to begin a gratitude journal – write down 5-10 things that I am thankful for…every day. She promised that I would be amazed at what happens next.
She was right. When I began to dissect my days and pull out the events that occurred for a positive outcome, I started to notice more and more of them.
There are big moments: a college graduation, a child returning from a trip, a loved one beginning to heal; there are smaller moments: I met a goal, I had a nice chat with my son, a sweet text from a special friend.
I realized that the more I focus on the things to be grateful for, the more I find to be grateful for. I catch myself leaving a situation and almost subconsciously reviewing and pulling out the gems: the machine I wanted to work on at the gym was free, someone went out of their way to tell me a joke, no one ate the yummy leftovers that I wanted for lunch….
I found that the easiest days to be grateful are the fun days AND the hard days. The routine days are the ones that offer up the most challenges – but there are reasons to be thankful in EVERY day. Printers didn’t jam today? Smooth drive into work? Didn’t go hungry? Have a super chatty husband who likes to share his crossfit routine with you every day? BE THANKFUL!
Here are seem tips for starting your own gratitude journal:
- Set a routine – I write in mine as soon as i climb into bed.
- Be thankful for ANYTHING – no rules – people, scenery, words, lessons
- Elaborate – point form is fine, but the exercise works better if you give a bit of detail
- Feel the depth of your gratitude…I truly AM thankful for having sweet friends
You can also use prompts if you are feeling stuck:
- people in your life that you are thankful for (…and why?)
- your favourite places to go, or dream to go
- important lessons you’ve learned
- funniest moments of your life
- best meals you’ve ever had
- favourite childhood memories
- things that made you smile
- freedoms your country allows you
- interesting people you’ve met
The list is limitless – its your life, you can be grateful for anything.