For sometime now, I've been a fan of keeping a gratitude journal. I've been thinking back to when it began and it was around six years ago and marked a major change in direction for me and one that I will treasure forever.
You see at the time I decided to quit my high flying corporate J.O.B and move to the beach. Yes that's right out of the city which I loved, to move north to my beachside haven. Funnily enough this move had been on my bucket list for a while - won't share how long - as I had a lot of stuff to do between when I decided and when I moved on the decision.
There were other things I chose to make my priority over moving immediately to an idyllic location and that's what I did. I have no regrets and a whole lot of gratitude for following my heart. Good things came and continue today and consider myself blessed.
My first gratitude journal was an exercise book that I covered in metallic blue wrapping paper. Looking back I have no recollection of where the paper came from and funnily enough it takes me back to the days when we covered our exercise books ready for the new school year...do kids still do that?
I got into writing daily for close to a year and then I stopped. Looking back I know it was because I was making it tricky. Tricky because I was looking for too much to write about, dismissing things instead searching like a miner searching for a gem. No that one's not big enough and so on.
There must be something wrong with me. The introduction to journaling was to write ten things each day. I found it challenging and it's funny for me to look back at what I wrote. Do any of you remember being in class and the teacher says write that out 100 times! Well that's where I got to, 'on repeat'. I was going through the motions, mechanical at best. This isn't it!
I took a break and started over about two journals ago, almost 2 years. Today the most I write is three things that I'm grateful that day. Sometimes I'm compelled to write more just because and if it's one liner, that's ok too - everything is in balance and perfect, as it's meant to be.
BEFORE I SLEEP
Keeping a Gratitude Journal has become my evening, 'before I sleep' ritual. I love the practice as I snuggle into my bed that I love, to reflect on the day and the things that touched me before lights out. And when I travel more often my journal comes too or I make a note in my phone and then pop it in on my return. Regardless it's my ritual.
Research suggests that writing in a Gratitude Journal for just a few minutes per day can increase happiness and our overall wellbeing. Happiness brings out the best in us, improving our health, increasing our desire to exercise more, releasing more of those happy endorphins - yes please!! The practice of gratitude is a simple daily activity and a wonderfully rich cycle to be part of.
VALUED AND LOVED
Gratitude improves relationships both personal and professional, because people who are considerate and kind are, understandably more likeable. Those who express their thanks and appreciation for others have better relationships because everyone feels valued and loved. Who doesn't love the sound of that!
If you haven't given journaling a go, then writing in a gratitude journal is a great place to start. Keep it simple, adopting the no rules approach, allowing yourself to express as your authentic self. It's your gratitude and that's what matters.
I'm hooked! If you've been thinking about starting, then I dare you to make the move.
THE GOOD STUFF
If you're loving this post, I'd be grateful if you spread the 'good stuff' around to your network of friends, family and workmates or via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. My passion in whatever I do is to have empowering conversations and have a bunch of tools to support me to do this. If you're looking for your own set of tools then reach out to me as the timing is perfect.
Till next week, make what you're doing matter :)