Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Focused Gratefulness

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." - Thornton Wilder
For the past week, I have been keeping a gratitude journal. I got the idea from a single mom with two kids who was on the show "Extreme Home Makeover." I thought to myself, wow that's a really cool thing to do because not only did the mom keep one, but her kids did too! While the show was on, I got on my phone and searched the internet for gratitude journal and read a couple pages/websites that gave me an overview and how to. A gratitude journal is very similar to a diary.  However, the difference is that you mainly have positive things to write in a gratitude journal, not an emotional blast book for narrative of your day which is typical of a diary entry.
Here is what I learned:
  1. Make it a rule to write down a certain number of things you are thankful for per day. Avoid repeating the same things. The challenge is to think of new things which can be big or little.
  2. Many people start by writing down basic material things that they are grateful for in their lives. Be sure to explain why. You don't have to write a lot about why you are gateful, but it helps to focus on the emotional experience/connections.
  3. Think about your abilites, situations, and people in your life.
  4. You can write an essay, use bulleted list, do it in point form, or even write poetry. Don’t just think in words.  Think pictures.  Make drawings or use photos
  5. To remember to write in your journal keep it somewhere you're sure to see when you have the most time. You don't have to write about what you are grateful for at the end of the day. You can write whenever you want!
I want to share with you some of the things I was grateful for this week:
  • I am grateful that I have a husband who helps with household chores. Sometimes he does more work than I do when it comes to cleaning.
  • Avery's giggles---she is so sweet and unique. It is so much to watch her laugh and play.
  • Hot homemade soup when you don't feel good. It warms your spirit and your belly!
  • Family that helps one another like taking your dog to the vet because you can't.
  • Air conditioning during a Florida summer! It is so hot and uncomfortable without it.
  • A spontaneous shoulder rub from my husband. It was such a loving gesture.
  • For a good book to read. I  very much enjoy the "escape" a book gives me---no matter the genre.
  • The time I got to spend today shopping with my daughter! She was so good in her stroller and it was nice not to feel cooped up in the house all day.
  • I really enjoyed posting my family dinner blog post. It was one of the better ones that I have written so far and I really do like spending time with my family.
I would like to close this post with a quote from Brian Tracy, "Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation." Consider starting a gratitude journal for yourself or your family because sometimes greater happiness can be found by looking a your life through a new perspective.

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