In all honesty, we’re all guilty of allowing ourselves to be caught up in negative energy at some point in our lives. During these moments of unhappiness it can seem as though there’s nothing to put a smile on our faces. However, simply adjusting your outlook, viewing your day differently and looking for the good can give you a real buzz.
With that in mind, we suggest you give gratitude journalling a try. This concept calls for you to keep a daily record of the things that you have to be thankful in a diary. What’s lifted your spirits today? If you’re feeling inspired to start noting your days, we’ve put together a few helpful nudges to get you started on the right track…
1 Pick the right journal for you
While some of us can’t resist the lure of a handwritten train of thoughts, others of us feel more at ease typing. And, you know what? It’s perfectly fine to do either. If you’ve got a smart phone, you could even jot your happy happenings down in the notes section while on the tube home from work or during the adverts of your favourite soap.
2 Be spontaneous
We’re all for routine if that’s what works for you, but don’t feel compelled to stick to a strict plan about when you fill fill out your journal. Keep your dairy close by and note down things as and when they occur, or later that day – whatever works for you.
3 Don’t set yourself boundaries
Giving yourself rigid guidelines can turn the process into a bit of a chore. Who said you had to source 10 things everyday? Who said you have to write it in a certain format? Write what you feel, let your mind guide you and really get into the positive zone. It’s all about self-expression and the positive side of life.
4 Add details
While some days you might just want to scribble a short list of things, if you’ve got more time to spare, elaborate on why you’re feeling grateful. This is a great exercise for you to explore your inner thoughts and emotions. And the more detail you include now will help you to strike a greater and fonder memory weeks down then line.
5 Be creative
Now, we know that coloured pens are generally left behind with our childhoods, however, adding a little colour to your life (or, more specifically, your journal) will give it a much-needed zing! If you fancy including a little doodle, go for it! Why not stick a wrapper of your fave treat, cinema tickets or a picture in there? All of these things will serve as memories when you look back.
6 Notice the little things
Think about those small things that keep you on track that you normal ignore as being part of your day and celebrate them! It could be the first tasty of a steamy morning brew, or not having to queue up on your weekly supermarket shop, perhaps you’ve discovered a tin of chocolates that you thought you’d gobbled up of Christmas. All of these things are just as significant and we should be thankful for.
7 Keep it personal
While it’s great to notice the products and objects that have made you feel grateful, also remember the people around you. Did somebody fetch you a glass of water because they could see you were busy at work? Perhaps your niece paid you an unexpected visit or you got a call from a loved one you hadn’t heard from for a while. These warm fuzzy moments, feel your heart with love and your head with joy, so be sure to include them.
8 Set a reminder
Despite all our great intentions, it’s sometimes tricky to stay on track because, well, we forget! In between all the day-to-day errands we run it’s easy for things to slip our minds, therefore we suggest setting yourself reminders. Schedule a daily alarm on your phone which simply asks ‘What are you grateful for today?’. Alternatively, put a note somewhere – perhaps above your kettle or beside your bed.
9 Make it work for you
There are no rules to gratitude logging, it’s a choice and an enjoyable experience and that’s what makes it such a beautiful thing. Ultimately, however you choose to do it is up to you. These journals are a reflection of yourself and what makes you happy, that’s something to always have at the back of your mind.
10 Stick with it
If you find it tricky when you start out, don’t give yourself a hard time – it can take a while to pick up new routines. Stick with it and after a few weeks it’ll become second-nature. Whenever you’re feeling uninspired, flick back to previous days to get yourself back on track. Remember, there’s positive all around and plenty of reasons to feel thankful, it’s up to you to recognise and acknowledge those things.
Want to be part of our Gratitude Journal? Email us your letter of gratitude, celebrating who and what you’re most thankful for and email it to us with the subject line ‘Gratitude log’.