There is no doubt that these are challenging times for many people. Covid-19 continues to persist, with the number of cases increasing around the country. We are 48 hours away from the end of a contentious election, and regardless of the outcome, there will be relationships to mend. With so much stress and upheaval, it can be difficult to feel gratitude.
“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown
And yet, gratitude is strongly connected to our happiness. Gratitude helps to reduce stress, improve sleep, and deepen relationships.
So, where to start?
Choose a notebook
Some people like to have lovely journals with leather covers or beautiful graphics. But, it isn’t necessary to have anything fancy to start your gratitude journal. One of my favorites is a traditional black and white composition book from the office supply store.
Commit to five minutes per day
Allow yourself a few minutes each morning and evening to spend time with your gratitude journal.
In the morning, write down three things that you are grateful for today. These do not have to be big things. Some days you may be thankful for the sunshine and others, for the rain. Sometimes you may be grateful for warm socks and others for the cold nose of your dog. What you are thankful for is up to you.
In the evening before bed, pull out your journal again. This time, make a note of one small success that you experienced during the day. Maybe you got all of the laundry done. Or you completed a report for your boss. Whatever success is for you today, write it down.
Review your list weekly
Pick a day each week to review your list. Many people choose to check their list on Sunday nights before they begin their week again. Then take a few minutes and remind yourself of the many things that create a feeling of gratitude for you.
Don’t wait until the pandemic ends, or the election is over to take care of yourself. Find a notebook and start your gratitude list today.
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Seeking Health and Happiness One Day at a Time.
Marcy Berg is a writer and therapist living in the Pacific Northwest and Exploring thoughts on mental health, wellness, and happiness. She can also be found at Growing Through Life.