How to: start a gratitude journal
Gratitude is a bit of a buzz word these days, but it really is a deeply moving and humbling practice to embark on.
Being grateful means looking truthfully at your life, and seeing all the good in it. This can be really hard at first, especially if we are struggling in any way such as with money, work, or relationships, and it could even feel fake to begin with. But like anything else we commit to, a practice soon becomes habit, and the more we direct our attention on looking for the good, rather than just seeing the bad, the more ease we find with life itself.
By invoking gratitude, we start to soften the heart space, our space for compassion, and we see that perhaps things are not so bad after all. We see with tender eyes, we breath more deeply, and we begin to find it easier to make changes in our lives, as we are acting through love, rather than fear, competition or desperation.
Here are three simple and easy ways to start a gratitude journal today.
1. Buy a beautiful notebook. I always ask for beautiful notebooks for Christmas or my birthday, something that feels special, and is a joy to buy for yourself or receive from another.
2. Get in the habit. First thing in the morning is my preferred time to journal. I find it sets me up for the day, and offsets any anxiety that may be lurking. You can do it whenever suits you, but try to do it daily. Even if you can only think of one thing - 'I am grateful for the hot water in my shower' - then write that down. You may like to carry your journal with you, so you can add to the list throughout the day, or perhaps reflect on it last thing at night.
3. As well as a gratitude list, you may like to add affirmations. Whilst gratitude is a great to find more optimism in our lives, we aren't looking to become subservient or a pushover. Affirmations can help us affirm our own successes and attributes, so that we begin to see that we are worthy of all the good stuff we are grateful for.
Keep it up for at least 3 months - and I'd love to hear how you got on.