I recently started writing in my Daily Gratitude Journal (part of my Joyful Living Toolbox.) Now, I have tried this before and it never seemed to work for me. I think it did not work because I made it an ‘act of duty' rather than thoughts from my heart. I think Covid has taught me that NOTHING can be taken for granted….ever. All of the things that you and I think are sure things can be gone in an instant.
So, I decided that each and every day I wanted to begin my time, not only with God in my quiet time….I wanted to take a few minutes and reflect on all of the things that I am grateful for. All of the things that give my joy. All of the things that I would normally take for granted but now I wanted to capture on paper.
I found that when I elaborate on the why's of being grateful for a particular thing it resonated with me more. For some reason it meant more to me when I gave it more thought.
As an example: I was grateful for a pen. Not just any pen, but a particular pen that, for me, writes smooth and does not skip. Ink that seems to just glide on the paper. Ink that did not smear. And, I could buy these pens on Amazon which made them easy for me to purchase. Such a small joy…but such a powerful one for me.
What has really helped me in my everyday thought process are journal prompts. Journal prompts are items/words/phrases that jiggle something in my mind that causes me to say ‘Oh yeah…and that too.' Here are a few:
I designed and created the journal that I use. It is in the PJ Shop in the ‘Choose Joy Collection.‘ While I was designing it for YOU, I added 50+ journal prompts PLUS a whole bunch of other things that I thought you would love. Little did I know that I would love it all too.
A Daily Gratitude Journal is similar to a diary. But, instead of writing about your life or your day or your disappointments…you take a moment to reflect and record ALL of the things that you are grateful for – big or small.
Now, a Daily Gratitude Journal need not be daily. It can be bi-weekly or even weekly. This is totally up to you. One thing to keep in mind is this…understanding the why's behind the journaling.
The gratitude journal that you see on the left is available in the Positively Jane shop.
Let's face it. Life is hard. It can be so filled with disappointments and heart aches. The struggle is real. Relationships can fail us. Your money can run out. Your kids could be acting out. Maybe you gained the Covid 15-20 or 50. Your car needs new tires. The lawn mower broke. You ran out of milk.
Whatever they are…big or small…all of those disappointments and failures can have a tendency to be the main focus of our minds. If you aren't careful that is ALL you will think about.
Maybe you have a toddler who is going through the terrible two's. And it seems like nothing you can do or say makes a difference. But wait…how about making a conscious effort to remember, and record, the sweet moments of non-conflict. Even if that is only when they are sleeping. Record the soft breath, the sweet smell, the relaxed face and body. The sweet kisses that you can give only because they are asleep.
A thought worth recording. Why…because it shifts your focus from the negative…right into the positive and joyful.
Research suggests that consciously giving thanks for them will greatly effect, in a positive manner, your well-being and relationships. When you routinely express gratitude you will enjoy better health and greater happiness.
Writing also helps to organize your thoughts. It helps you to accept your own experiences. It allows you to think and find the meaning of the events going on around you. Which then helps you find and create meaning in your own life.
Gives your mind space to sit back and reflect on all of those grateful moments. All of the good things. All of the things that you have. NOT the things you don't have.
Offers you an opportunity to record the big and the small.
Will give you a place to record, not just the events, but how those events made you feel.
Allows you to figure out the ‘why's' behind the gratitude
When you begin your day with gratitude you will begin to experience the freedom of joyful living. Joyful living will become a part of your life, not because circumstances changed, but because you choose to look at your circumstances in a different way. You choose gratitude. Which, in turn, leads to choosing joy…everyday.
Now, if morning is not your thing…end your day with journaling your thoughts. Studies have shown that you will sleep better and you will wake up with thoughts of gratitude and thankfulness.
And sometimes, when you are overwhelmed, stress sets in.
And when stress sets in it is sometimes difficult to be happy or joyful. So, please don’t let stress have the last word!
Go on and take a look at the ‘Top 5 Stress Reducers’ (Action Plan included). So that you can eliminate what causes you stress and get on the path of living a joyful life.
Joyful Living is ALL about not letting let the circumstances of YOUR life determine who you really are. You learn to choose YOU instead! Not sure how to do that? Let me help!
To begin, go ahead and read:
Like quizzes? Want to find out how grateful you really are? I found a great one for you! Gratitude Quiz.
Why is gratitude good? Robert Emmons has a great article ‘Why Gratitude is Good.'
GO ON AND PIN THE IMAGE BELOW…DAILY GRATITUDE JOURNAL
Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389.
Participants who kept a gratitude journal weekly for 10 weeks or daily for two weeks experienced more gratitude, positive moods, optimism about the future, and better sleep.
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