I’ve been talking for years about the importance of practicing gratitude – and the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal. But I’m gonna come clean. I don’t always keep one either. I have the best of intentions, I buy the prettiest journal I can find, use only my favorite pen, and place it lovingly on my nightstand. And there it sits, somedays for days or weeks without me opening it and making an entry.
I have a hard time doing anything over and over. Must be my fear of commitment!
But strangely enough, I manage to keep my daily commitment to my morning coffee. Hmmm.
I like to think of myself as being grateful, of paying attending, practicing mindfulness, and staying aware of how blessed my life is.
But in reality, when I stop journaling notice my life feels a bit less grounded.
I have more cynicism, more anger, and at times feelings of hopelessness.
The negatives show up on the big screen for me.
So, back to my journal. And now, I only ask myself to come up with three things a day (I do my journaling at night, right before bed.)
Three things are easy to come up with, there’s no fishing, no going through my daily memory bank for things to come up with.
But just these few things seem to be enough to put me in a good space, a better place, a more relaxed state of being.
By reminding myself daily of the beauty, the blessings, and the ease of my life compared to so many others in the world, I find myself appreciative of the smallest things. Things like some half and half in the refrigerator for my coffee, for the refrigerator itself, and for the electricity to keep the refrigerator going! Things that are not normally given a second thought.
Things we often take for granted.
So truly, if you are more disciplined than me, or even if you're not, start a gratitude journal. Three little things a day – you can do it – It takes only a few minutes. Not that much of a commitment but you will definitely notice the changes in your mindset, your mood, and your overall well-being.
We have a choice. We can adopt a grateful attitude towards life and focus more on the good than the bad. We can see that cup as half full instead of half empty. Keeping a gratitude journal forces you (in a gentle way) to look for the good.
And that, my friend, can’t be bad.
Kim Klein is a Life Coach, Certified Holistic Health Coach, Certified Feng Shui Practitioner, and author. She is the founder of Kim Klein Life Coaching and Wabi-Sabi Women and is the author of Damn, the Pusherman ~ Sugar, The Legal Drug that is Keeping You Sick and Fat, and Nine Degrees North, a young adult fiction novel.