Since I am not new to the planner world, I have heard about practicing gratitude for awhile. I began my own gratitude journey this year in my Plum Paper Planner. At the end of each month, I take time to write down the things I am most grateful for from start to finish. It takes less than 30 minutes and one page in my planner.
Before I discuss more of my journey, I have to say that everyone’s experience with gratitude is different. I feel that many of you are off to a good start with the November daily gratitude challenges in order to celebrate Thanksgiving.
However, gratitude should become part of our yearly lives. Here’s how and why!
Gratitude a Daily Practice
I recommend the audiobook by Nataly Kogan titled Gratitude Daily. She shares her own personal journey while giving guidance and prompts for the reader to try gratitude themselves. She talks about the good and bad in her life including sharing her time in refugee camps when leaving Russia.
“Life is made of moments. Choose to create and collect the happy ones. ~ Nataly Kogan
Three Big Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
- Because gratitude refocuses the day to the positive it helps lift depression and ruts.
- In gratitude, you focus on what you have versus what you want. Leading you on a road for a happier life.
- Practicing gratitude helps foster stronger relationships by putting down technology and finding ways to focus on the people in front.
How to Start Incorporating Gratitude in Your Daily Life
It is up to you on how to incorporate it into your daily routine. Make a point to write your gratitude at a time that works best for you. Not a morning person, that is fine. Try writing it down in a journal before bed. Have long days? Try doing it as a weekend meditation. The point is to write it on paper in whatever form you choose.
Instead of writing generalized phrases like, “I am thankful I have a job.” Think of specific reasons you are grateful. Here is a more specific examples:
I am thankful I have a job that allows me to take paid leave time to see a friend out of town.
Make an effort to turn the downsides and negatives into positives. Right after I returned to China, I accepted a rehomed hedgehog named Benny. Benny is not what I expected. He was losing quills, weird, and adorable. I had never expected to love him so much. Especially since he was albino with the pink eyes I sometime found unnerving.
I lost Benny suddenly 3 weeks later, and was heartbroken. His quirky personality and sweet nature really won me over. However, I had to think about how grateful I was for him coming into my life even though it was a short time.
Some Prompts to Get Started
- How can you pamper yourself in the next week?
- Did something good ever come from a mistake you made?
- What quality does your spouse/partner possess that you are most grateful for?
- What do you love most about your neighborhood/community?
- Name something kind a stranger did for you.
There are plenty more to be found on websites like Developing Good Habits. You can use these as inspiration to get started.
How Frequent Gratitude Helps Me
I am sure it is not surprising after reading my post about working 2 jobs that I experience unbearable burn out some days. Professionally, I have come to let the negative thoughts experienced at work bleed into my personal life. Writing gratitude monthly has kept me in check. It reminds me why I live the lifestyle I do currently. It also reminds me that my jobs have some big time benefits and I have a set of skills that are perfectly suited for them.
Now on Thanksgiving Eve 2019, give it a try. Pull a notebook, clean piece of printer paper, hell even a napkin. Take a few moments and write down what makes you most grateful and begin your own journey into gratitude.
How do you express gratitude?
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