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 in situations can give you a real buzz.
With that in mind, we suggest you give gratitude journalling a try. This novel concept calls for you to keep a daily record of the things that you have to be thankful for in a diary. Go on, have a think; what’s lifted your spirits today? If you’re feeling inspired to start logging your thoughts, we’ve put together a few helpful hints to get you started on the right track…
1 Pick your journal
While some of us can’t resist the lure of a handwritten train of thoughts, others feel more at ease typing. 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 train home from work, during the adverts of your favourite soap or while waiting for the kettle to boil.
2 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 your reasons for feeling grateful. This is a great exercise for you to explore your inner thoughts and emotions. What’s more, the more detail you include now will help you to strike a greater and fonder memory weeks down the line when you reflect on that day.
3 Don’t set yourself boundaries
Giving yourself rigid guidelines can turn the process into a bit of a chore. Who said you have to source 10 things everyday? And, 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 zone. It’s all about self-expression and tapping into the positive side of life.
4 Notice the little things
Think about those minor and forgettable things that keep you on track and celebrate them! It could be the first taste 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 over Christmas – we love it when that happens! All of these things are just as significant and we should be thankful for.
5 Make it work for you There are no rules to gratitude journalling, there’s no right and no wrong. These logs are meant to be representations of you, they’re personal and their aim is to make you feel more positive about life in general– keep this in mind when you set about writing. Don’t allow it to become a chore, it should be a pleasurable experience.
6 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 a friend 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, fill your heart with love and your head with joy, so be sure to include them.
7 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 have to run it’s easy for things to slip our minds, so set 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.
8 Get 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 too – go for it! Why not stick a wrapper of a treat you enjoyed, cinema tickets or a picture in there? All of these things will serve as memories when you look back.
9 Be spontaneous
While some might suggest it’s best to set aside a time everyday to dedicate to your inner musings, we disagree.
After all, making something a must instantly takes away the fun. We’re all for routine if that’s what works for you, but don’t feel compelled to be rigid, write when you feel happy. Keep your dairy close by and note down things as they occur, you can pad them out later that day if you wish.
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.